Singapore PM Is Working Against Late Dad's Will: Siblings

Tussle escalates, offers rare glimpse at cracks in powerful family
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 14, 2017 2:43 PM CDT
On March 29, 2015, family members second row left to right; Lee Suet Fern, son, (Lee Hsien Yang's wife), Lee Hsien Yang, Lee Hsien Loong, son and current prime minister, Ho Ching (Lee Hsien Loong's wife)...   (Joseph Nair)

(Newser) – A tussle that began over their father's will escalated Wednesday when two siblings accused their brother, the prime minister of Singapore, of using "the organs of state" against them and grooming his son to take up a political role, the AP reports. Business executive Lee Hsien Yang, the brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said the situation compelled him to leave Singapore "for the foreseeable future." He and his sister, Dr. Lee Wei Ling, said in a statement "we feel big brother omnipresent." The feud offers a rare glimpse into cracks in the prominent family after the death of Lee Kuan Yew, who led Singapore with an iron grip for more than three decades and is credited with transforming the resource poor island into a wealthy bustling financial hub.

Lee Kuan Yew died a widower in 2015. Much of the family feud is centered around his will directing to have his house demolished instead of being turned into a museum or heritage site. All three children have publicly supported this. But now the two siblings accuse the prime minister of privately working against their father's will to "enhance his political capital." They said he lobbied a government committee in hopes of preserving the property in order to "inherit the faith Singaporeans had in Lee Kuan Yew through the visible symbol of the house." There has been a "misuse of his position and influence over the Singapore government ... to drive his personal agenda," the statement said. Lee, who is currently away on holiday, denied the allegations. Click for more on the accusations and their background. (Read more Singapore stories.)

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