So, after two days of some intense back and forth exchanges, it appears that the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s last will is the crux in the whole not-so-private familee matter surrounding the Lee family home at 38 Oxley Road.
In particular, paragraph 7 of the last will – which relates to LKY’s wish to have 38 Oxley Road demolished after his death, or after his daughter Lee Wei Ling moves out.
There were three plot twists in rapid succession – more pattern than your Korean/Hong Kong/Taiwanese dramas. Here’s what happened:
- Plot Twist 1
Earlier on 15 June, PM Lee Hsien Loong publicly revealed that his sister-in-law, Lim Suet Fern, had mentioned that LKY asked her to prepare his last will. According to PM Lee, Lim Suet Fern did not want to get personally involved, and thus she got a certain Ng Joo Khin from her law firm, Stamford Law, to handle the will.
However, PM Lee raised some issues about paragraph 7 in the final will. He said that the clause in paragraph 7 (on the demolition of 38 Oxley Road) first appeared in the very first will made in 2011. However, LKY subsequently gave instructions to remove that clause from the fifth and sixth version of his will. Yet “it somehow found its way back into the Last Will”, said PM Lee.
PM Lee also raised concern about how LKY’s last will was prepared, noting that “there are serious doubts about whether Mr Lee (Kuan Yew) was properly and independently advised on the contents of the Last Will before he signed it”.
- Plot Twist 2
Following PM Lee’s open expression of doubt, Lee Hsien Yang responded with some assertions of his own too.
In two Facebook updates on 16 June, Lee Hsien Yang said that contrary to what PM Lee claimed, LKY’s final will was not drafted by Stamford Law (Lim Suet Fern’s firm) or Ng Joo Khin. Lee Hsien Yang said that LKY’s last will was in fact drafted by their maternal cousin, Kwa Kim Li of Lee & Lee law firm. Lee Hsien Yang added that paragraph 7 of the last will, pertaining to the demolition of 38 Oxley, was put into language by Lim Suet Fern, after which LKY asked Kwa Kim Li to insert it into his will.
(See FB screenshots below)
- Plot Twist 3
*Drop mic moment*
On 17 Jun, CNA reported that the Lee’s cousin, Kwa Kim Li (yes, the person who Lee Hsien Yang said was the one that drafted LKY’s last will) denied drafting it.
Here’s what Kwa said:
In response to queries from Channel NewsAsia on Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s assertion, Ms Kwa said: “No, I did not prepare the last will”.
Jeng jeng jeng..
So, the plot thickens. Somebody must be lying, and the way this continues, this Familee Feud is going to have more plot twists than ‘House of Cards’.
- [UPDATE] Plot Twist 4
Lee Hsien Yang responded. Here’s what he posted.
Lee Hsien Yang said that LKY’s final will was LKY’s first version of the will (with the demolition clause for 38 Oxley Road) re-executed on LKY’s instructions.
While Kwa Kim Li (the Lee’s maternal cousin) prepared the first will, Kwa herself was not present at the execution of the final will because she was apparently not contactable. Instead, the final will’s execution was witnessed by two other solicitors.
Question though: Kwa Kim Li may have drafted the first version of LKY’s will. But the will had been changed several times along the way, with the first version supposedly reinstated. Can Kwa Kim Li then be said to have drafted the final version of LKY’s will?
A degeneration into a war of he said, she said.
But actually, that’s not the key issue here. The key thing that most Singaporeans want the Lees to do is:
That is all.