Separating state issues from the gossip

The family drama that has erupted in Singapore’s first family has all the trappings of a Korean drama. It is so riveting that I may consider taking a break from watching the latest season of the House of Cards. Speculation aside, this saga raises some serious issues that are worthy of consideration.

In a statement released by PM Lee yesterday, he has indicated that his siblings did not respond to questions raised by a ministerial committee that appears to have been set up to consider options in relation to 38 Oxley Road (Oxley Property).

Given that it is a ministerial committee, one has to assume that it is official and therefore funded by public coffers. Do we really need a committee constituted by the state to deal with what is essentially a private residence?

There is no doubt that Mr Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) is synonymous to Singapore. However, that should not be confused with LKY as an individual. This is a private matter and he had a will! If there are disputes with regards to the will, it should be privately settled between the Lees. Why is the state or the ministers involved in the first place?

LKY, prominent as he may have been was an elected politician He was not the head of state like the Queen or the President of Singapore. The Oxley Property therefore has absolutely no bearing on state affairs. It is not the Istana, which has official connotations and status!

Apart from the allegations of the misuse of state organs for personal political gain, which has already been raised, I would like to go back to the beginning of the debacle and ask why there was a ministerial committee in the first place?

Singapore is not a monarchy and political power is not inherited. Given Singapore’s unique political system which has been dominated by one party that is closely associated with one family, the distinction between what constitutes the state and what forms the “first” family is all the more crucial. Why has this issue been so seemingly fudged by the powers be?

Despite how juicy this saga is, we need to be able to pick out the state issues from the gossip fodder:

  1. Why is the government involved in the Oxley Property, which has no bearing on state issues, being a private residence?
  2. Who authorised the ministerial committee and is it funded by the state? If so, how much costs has this committee incurred?
  3. Do we need the committee if it is incurring state resources?
  4. What state organs have been misused?
  5. Who authorises which state organ to do what?

This drama may be considered entertaining to Singaporeans but until these prescient questions are satisfactorily answered, this incident will have served no purpose apart from racking up state resources and boosting a few days worth of popcorn sales.



* Article first appeared on The Online Citizen.



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13 Responses to “Separating state issues from the gossip”

  • Titiana Ann Xavier:

    PM Lee has created a State within a State. He acts as if he is an omnipotent Emperor where he can order that it is everybody’s duty to die but never to question why. PM Lee has obviously bowed to public pressure and is subjecting himself to a Parliarmentary inquest to ascertain whether he has breached any protocol. If found guilty, he must resign from his post.

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  • Amos humiliate L*L and PAP:

    All questions will be “answered” when PM makes a ministerial in Parliament on July 3. LSY and LYL should respond to. This can be more exciting if a “new player” WP does in Parliament what it is suppose to do. Will it do well (so it can go to the next round) or be quickly out of the show (voted out of Parliament)?

    This family drama should have many more chapters. PM trying to write the closing chapter on July 3 but his sibling might have other plans. Hope the drama lasts until the next GE.

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  • Evil Tyrant and PAP Terror:


    Oxley Road … should be an official Geylang Lorong 10 paradise …

    Lately … there are sexy ladies hanging nightly !!!

    The ministerial committee … can explore this possibility !!!


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  • Titiana Ann Xavier:

    Thanks to Dr Lee and LHY, cracks are appearing in the PAP. Certain party members are taking the law into their own hands by threatening another party member. What LKY had put together, PM Lee is going to tear it asunder. A new dawn is about to appear. The last time the PAP split up, it almost lost its power to the Barisan Sosialis. History may repeat itself.

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  • opposition dude:

    Knowing how the PAP works from past experience and incidents it was always a mega wayang that the committee was set up in the first place. Sure they go all out to say the house can be gazetted as a monument or whatever but they won’t ever answer the question of why it was set up when Lee Kayu never even asked for it in his will.

    It was just like when PAP was asked why AIM was set up with a mere $2. They didn’t dare answer. Nor did they dare answer when asked about the $36 million funding for non Singaporean scholars, why are taxpayer funds beig wasted on non Singaporeans?

    Everyone knows that the first paragraph in the will is to demolish it when he is gone or when his daughter no longer lives there. It seems there is a lot of problem fulfilling a dead man’s wish when his eldest starts coming out and flinging accusations just like his siblings have done.

    Smart people aren’t so smart when things are out in the open and they can’t resolve it nicely without resorting to underhand means of “You said this I said that”.

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  • Should settle in court:

    Only the courts can determine who is telling the truth, the PM or his siblings? The PM can make all sorts of statements in parliament and answer all sorts of questions from his own party members and the largely ineffective oppo MPs, without the presence of the younger Lee’s to make rebuttals , who is going to judge who is right and who is wrong? The exercise on July the 3 rd will be a futile excercise , waste of time with no concrete outcome! The whole saga will continue with the 3 Lee’s continue to making statements and attacking each other . There is no end without the court decision and stop the feud once and for all!

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  • Survey recently:

    Questions 1-5 , it will be answered by prof dr Ir Mr president 35 % kentucky tancho.
    Questions 6-10 it will be answered by l*1
    Questions 11-100 , it will be answered by the 81 white papay.
    Questions 101 , there will no answered nor asking any questions by wp.

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  • SAG:

    Titiana Ann Xavier:
    PM Lee has created a State within a State. He acts as if he is an omnipotent Emperor where he can order that it is everybody’s duty to die but never to question why. PM Lee has obviously bowed to public pressure and is subjecting himself to a Parliarmentary inquest to ascertain whether he has breached any protocol. If found guilty, he must resign from his post.

    You and your bloody anti PAP rhetoric. WTF’s wrong with you?

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  • middle finger 2 u:

    SAG…Stupid Asshole Government, actually i should say…WHAT THE FUCKING WRONG WITH YOU? You must be like LHL and PIGS only know how to talk through ur stinking ass. Lickers like you making SG disgrace. Wake up bloody fucking idiot!!!!

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  • Bruise Lee:

    @ SAG

    KNNB. PAP asslickers like you are despicable MFs.

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  • justacitizen:

    @ SAG
    Who do you like more huh?
    LHL or Ho Ching?
    And why huh?
    Tell us more!

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  • Awake the Sleeping Giant:

    After the Past Tense, many have been awaiting for Skeletons to Come Out of the Closet.

    There was the monkey n the middle finger and now the house that Harry built.

    It has gone to the point that the main actors are known and seen to be not on talking terms. Will 3rd July help simmer or resolve the issue? We all know it’s just going to be free entertainment and a wayang show to rub rub the 1MDB…No1 Most Dishonorable Brother.

    So stressful for someone, cancer good chance to make a comeback.

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