The plot thickens. More dirt has been dished out in the Lee Family Feud. PM Lee has released a summary of his statutory declarations to the ministerial committee looking into options for Oxley Road house.
The revelations from the declarations are like the plot twists of a Hong Kong drama. We helped to summarise the key points:
1) Lee Suet Fern wanted to change the way that Lee Kuan Yew would spilt his Estate among the three children
Lee Kuan Yew made seven wills between 2011 to 2013. It was stated in the original will that all of Lee Kuan Yew’s three children will receive equal shares of his Estate. But in the 6th will, Lee Kuan Yew gave Lee Wei Ling an extra share of his Estate, splitting the Estate into four shares instead.
This issue became the subject of discussion between Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Kuan Yew in late 2013. On 16 December 2013 at 7.08 pm, Lee Suet Fern sent an email to Lee Kuan Yew and Kwa Kim Li (who was in charge of his will) giving instructions that the will should state all three children will receive equal shares.
23 minutes later, Lee Hsien Yang replied to the email that he was unable to contact Kim Li and suggested to Lee Kuan Yew that Suet Fern’s law firm can prepare the new will for his signing.
The next morning, two lawyers from Stamford Law Corporation visited Lee Kuan Yew at 11.05am for him to sign the new will.
The Demolition clause, which was removed from earlier versions of the will, was also re-inserted into the new will.
Within 24 hours, a new will with the terms that Lee Suet Fern and Lee Hsien Yang wanted was engrossed and signed.
PM Lee said in his declaration that Lee Wei Ling later told Ho Ching that she suspected Lee Hsien Yang and Suet Fern “played me out”.
Lee Wei Ling told Ho Ching: “The money I don’t get does not upset me. It is that yang and fern would do this to me”
2) Lee Hsien Yang almost took away the house his sister wanted to continue staying in?
When Lee Kuan Yew’s will was read to the family on 12 April 2015, Lee Hsien Yang “repeatedly insisted on the immediate demolition” of the House at 38 Oxley Road. PM Lee said he objected to it as such an act when the public’s emotions were still raw after Lee Kuan Yew’s passing might force the Government to promptly react by deciding to gazette the House, and that would not be in the interests of Mr Lee’s legacy or Singapore.
PM Lee said that the discussion only ended when Ho Ching intervened to ask Lee Wei Ling if she wanted to continue living in the House. Lee Wei Ling said she did. Lee Hsien Yang then stopped insisting on the immediate demolition of the House.
3) Siblings don’t want $1 house and rather buy over the house at market value
As Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling was unhappy that the House had been bequeathed to PM Lee, he told them that he was prepared to transfer the house to Lee Wei Ling for a nominal sum of S$1 on the condition that should the property be transacted later or acquired by the Government, all proceeds would go to charity.
The offer was not taken up.
After the 2015 General Elections, PM Lee proposed that he will transfer the house to Lee Hsien Yang at market value, on condition that the brothers will each donate an amount equivalent to half of that value to charity, to pre-empt any future controversy over compensation or redevelopment proceeds.
The siblings agreed on this proposal. 38 Oxley Road now wholly belongs to Lee Hsien Yang who cannot sell the house pending the decision by the ministerial committee.
Not long after PM Lee’s Facebook post, the siblings started a tug of war of words over Facebook.
Lee Hsien Yang posted on his Facebook:
Interestingly, Mothership pointed out that the signature seems different from how Lee Kuan Yew usually signs off:
Lee Wei Ling also posted on her thoughts on Facebook:
She also posted emails from Suet Fern in September 2012 (one year before Suet Fern approached Lee Kuan Yew to change the will to three shares) to support her point that she was not cheated by Suet Fern and Lee Hsien Yang.
So it seems that Lee Wei Ling has somehow made peace with her brother and sister-in-law despite suspecting that they had played her out. Or could it be that someone was playing double agent but actually stabbing everyone else in the back? That is usually how the Hong Kong dramas play out.
Let’s wait and see what’s next in this family feud.