Unite and let’s move forward: PM Lee’s message to Singaporeans
PUBLISHED ON 04 Jul 2017
After two days of intense debate on the Ministerial Statement on Allegations of Misuse of Power, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged Singaporeans to unite and to move forward.

Wrapping up the Parliamentary Debate on 38 Oxley Road, PM Lee said Singaporeans have been given a full account of how the Government works and what it has done on issues pertaining to 38 Oxley Road, former founding Prime Minister, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s house. He added that facts and explanations have been put on record to refute the allegations made by his siblings, Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling.
"People can see that there has been no abuse of power, by me or my Government," said PM Lee as he pointed out that no one – including opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) - has stood behind these allegations or offered any evidence.

Responding on questions why he had brought the matter to Parliament, the Prime Minister explained that he is answerable to MPs and Singaporeans.

"I agree that we should not fight private disputes in Parliament, nor have we done so. But grave accusations of abuse of power have been made against the PM and the Government. Doubts have been cast on our Government and leadership. How can my Ministers and I not address them in Parliament?

"Imagine the outrage if MPs filed questions on these accusations, and the Government replied that Parliament is not the place to discuss the matter. So whatever else I or the Government may or may not do to deal with this matter, we have to come to Parliament to render account. It is our duty," he said.

Even so, PM Lee said it would be “unrealistic to hope that the matter is now completely put to rest”.

"I do not know what further statements or allegations my siblings may make. But with the benefit of the statements and debate, Singaporeans are now in a better position to judge the facts, and see this issue in perspective,” he added.

"We can all get back to what we should be focused on, and not be distracted from our national priorities and responsibilities," said PM Lee.

I did not deceive my father, PM declares

PM Lee also clarified that he did not deceive his father, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, into believing that the Government had gazetted 38 Oxley Road.

"The simple answer is that I did not deceive my father. I explained to you yesterday how my father's primary wish on the house has always been clear - he always wanted it knocked down.

"Where my siblings and I differ is on whether my father was prepared to consider alternatives should demolition not be possible," he said.
After a meeting with the Cabinet on 21 July 21, the late Mr Lee asked PM Lee for his view of what the Government would do with the house after he passed away.

"I gave him my honest assessment. I told him, you have met the Cabinet and heard the ministers' views. If I chaired the Cabinet meeting, this being the view of the ministers and the public, I think it would be very hard for me to override them and knock the house down. I would have to agree that the house be gazetted. And if I was not PM then and did not chair the Cabinet, all the more likely that the house would be gazetted," PM Lee shared.

His father understood this, said PM Lee.

After that, PM Lee and his wife, Mdm Ho Ching, came up with renovation plans for the house in lieu of demolishing it, which Mr Lee signed off on. PM Lee shared that the entire family was kept informed and updated on the plans. PM Lee reiterated that the Government would take no decision on the house, as long as his sister lived in it.

Regret over family spat
In his speech, PM Lee also expressed his regret over the family spat which has gripped the nation in recent weeks. Holding back his emotions, PM Lee recounted that at 13, his father had told him: "If anything happens to me, please take care of your mother, and your younger sister and brother." This was when Singapore was part of Malaysia, and embroiled in a fierce fight with the central government and the communalists.

"My father didn't tell me then, but he knew his life was in danger. Fortunately, nothing happened to my father then. He brought up the family, and I thought we had a happy family. And he lived a long and full life," said PM Lee.

However, he did not expect that tensions would erupt soon after their parents died.

“I hope one day, these passions will subside and we can begin to reconcile. At the very least, I hope that my siblings will not visit their resentments and grievances with one generation upon the next generation. And further, that they do not transmit their enmities and feuds to our children."

In closing, the Prime Minister reiterated that the nation has to focus on pressing issues.  

"This is not a soap opera. We must all get back to work. Come together, tackle the challenges before us. My team and I will do our best to continue building this Singapore, keeping it safe, and making it prosper,” said the Prime Minister. 

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  Video source: gov.sg