In a statement earlier this evening, PM Lee Hsien Loong apologised to the nation for the disturbance and confusion caused by the private Familee feud between his siblings and him.
Yup, you heard that right. He apologised.
Here’s the key points (tl;dr version):
- He had tried his best to avoid this whole state of affairs, but his siblings were not satisfied.
- He would like to move on, but his siblings made baseless accusations against the Government, and these cannot be left unanswered. They will be dealt with and openly refuted.
- When Parliament sits on 3 Jul, the PAP party whip will be lifted, and all MPs, including opposition and NMPs, will be allowed to question him and his cabinet colleagues. He hopes an open public airing will dispel all doubts.
- He wants to assure all Singaporeans that the matter will not distract the government from governing Singapore well.
Note: With the lifting of the party whip, MPs do not have to support the party’s position and vote according to the party’s line. MPs will be allowed to vote and question i.e. no holds barred.
The party whip is seldom lifted. Notable examples include during voting on Human Organ Transplant Act and The Maintenance of Parents Act in Parliament.
And here’s what I would like to tell PM Lee:
It’s ok bro, we know you tried your best. We forgive you. And you know what, you have been dignified throughout the whole episode, and did not resort to mudslinging. Steady lah, bro.
It is never easy to apologise, especially to an entire nation. But we know that you place the country before self. And we know you wouldn’t just walk away and leave the country in a lurch.
And kudos to you for the transparency, allowing yourself to be put on the firing line. It takes balls to do so.
What has happened to Lee Kuan Yew’s values? Well, they are well and alive. And i think that is evident, especially after tonight’s events.
And here’s the video and full transcript of his statement.
I will speak in Parliament on the matter of 38 Oxley Road on 3 July. Watch my statement explaining this by clicking on the link below, or read the full text here: on.pmo.sg/2rvplEv. – LHL
Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Monday, June 19, 2017
“Over the last week, Singaporeans have been disturbed and confused by news of the private dispute between my siblings and me. I deeply regret that this dispute has affected Singapore’s reputation and Singaporeans’ confidence in the Government.
As your Prime Minister, I apologise to you for this. And as the eldest of the siblings, it grieves me to think of the anguish that this would have caused our parents if they were still alive.
I had done everything possible to avoid this state of affairs. My father left the property at 38 Oxley Road to me as part of my equal share of his estate, but my siblings were not happy about this. I tried to deal with their unhappiness privately. I offered to transfer 38 Oxley Road to my sister for a nominal S$1. Unfortunately, that offer failed. I then sold the house to my brother at a fair market valuation, and donated all my proceeds to charity.
I had hoped that this would satisfy them. There should be no reason for any further quarrel, since I no longer own the house and I do not take part in any Government decisions on the house. However, my siblings have decided to go out and make serious allegations publicly. For example, they say that I am using my position as Prime Minister to influence the Ministerial Committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean. These allegations go beyond private and personal matters, and extend to the conduct of my office and the integrity of the Government.
Much as I would like to move on, and end a most unhappy experience for Singaporeans, these I deeply regret that this dispute has affected Singapore’s reputation and Singaporeans’ confidence in the Governmen. They must be and will be dealt with openly and refuted.
When Parliament sits on Jul 3, 2017, I will make a Ministerial Statement to refute the charges. All MPs will then have the opportunity to raise questions for themselves and their constituents. I have instructed that the PAP party whip be lifted. I urge all MPs, including the non-PAP MPs, to examine the issues thoroughly and question me and my Cabinet colleagues vigorously. I hope that this full, public airing in Parliament will dispel any doubts that have been planted and strengthen confidence in our institutions and our system of government.
I want to assure all Singaporeans that this matter will not distract me and my Cabinet colleagues from our responsibility to govern Singapore, and to deal with more important national issues, including the pressing economic and security challenges we face.
As public servants, my Ministers and I will always protect the integrity of our institutions, and uphold the strict standards separating private affairs from our public duties. We are determined to repair the damage that has been done to Singapore. We will continue to lead our nation and serve you to the best of our ability.”
That is all.