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Ministerial committees often set up to overcome challenges in governance: DPM Tharman

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Ministerial committees in Singapore are often convened to overcome challenges in governance, and contribute to Singapore's success, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

MINISTERIAL committees in Singapore - such as the one set up to mull over the future of Lee Kuan Yew's former residence - are often convened to overcome challenges in governance, and contribute to Singapore's success, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Saying that there is "no mystery" as to why a ministerial committee was set up to look into the options for 38 Oxley Road, Mr Tharman said on Thursday evening in a Facebook post that the government "in fact does this often - setting up special committees comprising a group of ministers".

"It's how we ensure that we are not a government that operates in silos, that the national interest prevails even when there are valid sectoral or private interests, and that the long view prevails over the short view wherever possible," he said.

It is this delicate balancing act on the rule of law, of balancing public and private interests, and of squaring off long and short-term interests that is at the core of how Singapore has succeeded, he said.

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"So have confidence, no matter today's sad dispute," said Mr Tharman, of the ongoing tussle between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his siblings Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang over the fate of the house.

Mr Tharman's post makes him the latest high-ranking minister to share his views on the dispute. On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean responded to to a commentary in The Straits Times on why he decided to set up and chair a ministerial committee to look at the future of the house.

PM Lee will deliver a ministerial statement when Parliament sits again on July 3 to "refute the charges" levelled against him by his siblings.

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