Lee Hsien Yang’s goal is to bring down PM Lee: ESM Goh
PUBLISHED ON 04 Jul 2017
Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong has described the ongoing feud between the children of founding Prime Minister, the late Lee Kuan Yew as a “sad public squabble,” which has been “blown out of proportion.”

He said the ongoing feud and allegations against Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is a “wilful attack on the integrity of our leaders and the insidious corrosion of public faith in our institutions… The nub of the issue for us in Parliament is integrity and trust – in the Prime Minister and our system of government. Absent these, Singapore will descend to a Third World country.”

Speaking on the second day of the Parliamentary Debate on PM’s Statement on allegation of Abuse of Power, the former Prime Minister said the incorruptibility of the Government is Singapore’s distinguishing factor. 

“The Prime Minister is central in upholding that incorruptibility. He holds the key levers of state power, entrusted by the people. When trust in the Prime Minister disappears, his moral authority and political capital shrivel. Therefore, the constant self-policing, restraint and care of the Prime Minister in wielding the immense power at his disposal, is paramount. There is no hiding from public scrutiny. One’s entire character is laid bare and there is only total dedication to the job. This is the standard we want to uphold,” ESM Goh pointed out.

Reaffirming his support for PM Lee Hsien Loong, whom he had brought into politics in 1984 and “not at Lee Kuan Yew’s behest” ESM Goh said the recent episode reveals PM’s political sensitivity and integrity and that PM Lee had put country before self and family interest when he gave the proceeds from the sale of 38 Oxley Road.

Questioning the agenda of the Lee siblings, Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang, ESM Goh said, “The dispute over 38 Oxley Road is only a fig leaf for the deep cracks within the family, cracks which perhaps started decades ago… Are they whistleblowing in a noble effort to save Singapore, or waging a personal vendetta without any care for the damage done to Singapore?

“I have kept my ears open. From what Lee Hsien Yang and his wife are freely telling many others, it is clear that their goal is to bring Lee Hsien Loong down as PM, regardless of the huge collateral damage suffered by the Government and Singaporeans.

“It is now no more a cynical parlour game. If the Lee siblings choose to squander the good name and legacy of Lee Kuan Yew, and tear their relationship apart, it is tragic but a private family affair. But if in the process of their self-destruction, they destroy Singapore too, that is a public affair,” ESM Goh emphasised. And he added: “We cannot, and will not, allow ourselves to be manipulated as pawns.”

Commenting on the Ministerial Committee, Mr Goh vouched for DPM Teo Chee Hean’s integrity and said Mr Teo is his own man and “to suggest that he would do PM’s bidding blindly is to insult the Civil Service and Singapore Armed Forces, never mind the PAP and DPM.”

Calling for a conclusion at the end of the debate, Mr Goh said: “Either we clear PM over the allegation on his abuse of power or we censure him.” But having heard both sides and the Government, “it is clear that the allegations are baseless,” he said.

He also invited the Workers Party Secretary General Low Thia Kang and the other WP MPs to state their position on the integrity of the PM and Government.

Urging a reconciliation between the Lee siblings and an end to the feud, ESM Goh said he understands PM Lee’s dilemma in not preferring to sue his siblings and pass on the feud to the next generation. Mr Goh added: “My view remains that when a Minister thinks that an allegation made against him is without basis, he has to sue.” 

Emphasising a need to explain, restore trust and to account to Singaporeans, and not to distract the Government from doing far more important work, he advised the Lee siblings to “keep the quarrel private and seek mediation or arbitration to resolve your differences.” 

Watch the full video (Source:GOV.SG)