The Lee Family’s Path to Exile

I find myself deeply saddened by the recent statement put out by Hsien Yang and Wei Ling posted in the Straits Times and which has been covered by nearly every newspaper in the world. As well as being saddened by the shoddy treatment of some of LKY’s descendants by some of his other descendants, I find myself more than a little shocked.

I’m shocked because who knew until today that Lee Hsien Loong was an authoritarian leader? How could we have possibly known that his wife Ho Ching had accrued so much power? Certainly it never occurred to me when I took LHL’s government to court over the IMF loan. I’m sure the thought had never crossed M. Ravi’s mind when he helped Madam Vellama bring a case to court designed to put a fetter on LHL’s absolute power.

I must say this recent turn of events has caused a seismic shift in my view of my beloved country. For so long I have been proud of our nation as a pure meritocracy and robust democracy with the strict separation of power, checks and balances on the executive and a fiercely independent media and judiciary. Now it seems that Hsien Yang is accusing his brother PM Lee not of building up a constructive democracy but that rather he sought by all means possible to demolish the PAP and our system of government. Shocking  indeed!

Hsien Yang and Wei Ling have woken me from my slumbers (to quote JBJ) and now I’m forced to entertain the suspicion that we’re ruled by a dynastic power and a bunch of sycophants. The most frightening aspect is…..could it be….. is it even possible…. that it’s all about money?

However enough about my shock and sadness. How about the shock and sadness in the Lee family?  I see myself as a kind of public servant (unelected, unpaid) and have always felt it my duty to reach out to help Singaporeans in need. I’m particularly moved by Hsien Yang’s declaration that he’s been driven into exile from his beloved country by the draconian actions of his brother, our beloved PM Lee. As you may know I have a great deal of experience in the rapidly expanding exile field.  I’ve only recently returned from Chicago where I was helping the young exile Amos Yee. It strikes me that the ruling of the judge when he granted Amos refugee status in the US echoes what Hsien Yang says about Hsien Loong’s misuse of power at the very top.  In fact the judge’s decision to grant Amos asylum as a young political dissident was predicated on the very credible fear of the use of the organs of state against him.

I too was exiled from Singapore by my need to find gainful employment back in the early 1980s.  At that time, while I was struggling penniless overseas trying to find work and support my dear father, Hsien Yang’s own dear father Lee Kuan Yew had just appointed him head of SingTel. The Lee family’s future at the time looked both prosperous and promising. Their family fortunes were bolstered not just by appointments to Satan corporations but by their mother’s law firm, Lee & Lee, being appointed preferred lawyers for HDB conveyancing, all of this purely on merit I hasten to add. Now look at Hsien Yang’s pitiful condition.

I’m also  more than a little concerned for little sister Wei Ling sitting alone in her Nassim Jade condo with nothing but a microwaved salmon dinner for company. Reading her autobiography it seems that conditions in her condo are incredibly cramped and uncomfortable which makes you wonder why LKY, Lee Hsien Loong, his wife, aunt, uncle, Lee Hsien Yang, Lee Wei Ling and all the other members of the Lee clan jumped in to buy units there at a heavy discount.

You’re probably familiar with the unfortunate series of events that led to that mess. LHL with a double First in Maths from Trinity Cambridge,  in a rare abuse of his brain rather than his power, had simply not realised  that the units were being offered at a discount not available to the public and without the knowledge of the shareholders.  Even world class mathematicians sometimes go to work without all the cylinders  firing it seems. Even though  the shareholders complained no hint of corruption attached to the Lee family over this incident as they then all returned their ill-gotten gains.

It’s not all doom and gloom. The upside of this for Hsien Yang is that there’s a kind of club for those who’ve been forced into exile who can also say Hsien Loong is the only reason for my departure. I can link him into this network in the UK, US and Canada though I feel he may prefer to stick to what he knows best and move to a low tax haven such as Panama and the Cayman Islands. After all times are tough when you’re down to your last several hundred million and when you become an exile is a good time to start economizing.

My advice is to start off by getting a job straight away. This will keep him busy and distract from the inevitable homesickness. Francis Khoo, a qualified lawyer in Singapore, found happiness switching career paths to  public toilet cleaner in London. I’m happy to say this career path is open to anyone and there may even be a UK Government grant available for retraining if Hsien Yang and his wife feel they lack the skill set. Tan Wah Piow, who was forced into exile along with Francis, had previously had dreams of becoming an architect and he successfully climbed his way up from toilet cleaner and retrained to become a solicitor.

Actually Wah Piow is very hot on asylum cases and I can recommend his services to the Lee family in exile as they go through the long and demoralising refugee application process. As well as an  honest day’s work, a Singaporean exile will always be in need of a good lawyer for other issues. Unfortunately their brother LHL’s personal lawyer  Lucien Wong has recently been appointed AG so they had better look outside Singapore for counsel. I understand that for a very modest $3000, Gopalan Nair is available.

Cultural confusion is another minefield that recent exiles have to navigate on the path to new lives in a strange country. In an English speaking country Suet Fern may find that when she introduces herself she gets the  following response

“Hi, Suet Fern”

“No thanks, I don’t eat dumplings”

In fact she is best advised to avoid the UK altogether around Christmas time. Her dear departed father in law in fact established a long tradition of cultural misunderstandings. He seemed to have particular trouble with the names of Singaporeans of Tamil descent. He joked about JBJ; Not geriatric yet..  Jeya .. geddit? No neither did we. And he claimed in Parliament that Tamil names like Joshua were slave names. Come to think of  it after what he said about Malays its safe to say that DAD had problems with any culture that wasn’t his own.

On a sombre note I see that Hsien Yang fears for his wife Suet Fern and his son. Again I can offer a unique personal perspective which is basically this:

You’re  f****d.

Once the Lees decide to go after one line of a family they never let go and the vindictive vendetta will travel down generations. My wife and my son, with no connection with Singapore at all, were targeted for over two years with horrific threats. Though we all know where the cyber terrorism is emanating from, our organs of state have been spectacularly unsuccessful in bringing any prosecutions. I hope this is not what the minor Lees have to look forward to.

It’s a terrible thing to be made an exile and I’m sure all Singaporeans who’ve suffered over the past five decades of Lee family appropriation of power and resources will be delighted to know that they’ve some heavy hitters batting on their side. I’m only sad it’s too late for Francis Khoo who was never able to see his beloved home country before he died.

 

Kenneth Jeyaretnam

* KJ is the leader of Reform Party and blogs at https://kenjeyaretnam.com/.

 

 

 

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24 Responses to “The Lee Family’s Path to Exile”

  • Doggie:

    Pink dragon should cut the fake democracy crap. Might as well dissolve the parliment, arrest all opposition and proclaim himself as Emperor . Absolute monarachy,万岁万岁万万岁!!!

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  • Ah Peng Kia:

    While exaggerated somewhat (because LHY will unlikely be in struggling refugee status given his wealth and some influence), there is truth about the emotions one go through when forced to leave your home (country), and seek new life somewhere else, when it is not by choice. Pity those who had to flee LKY’s iron fist and Operation Cold Store and Operation Spectrum. The upside for LHY and family is they have a large wealth, good education, and likely family and friends overseas which all help one start a new life elsewhere comfortably.

    Pity the Singaporeans who are stuck and unhappy in Singapore, no good job prospects, not much money, no influence, and no chance of escaping the country they want to call home but cannot survive in.

    I hope this spilling of LHL’s skeleton closet makes Singaporeans think long and hard who they have been giving their vote to all these years, and how their life could become worse at the stroke of someone’s pen, when there are no checks and balances on this government’s unfettered power, vindictive nature, and control of every aspect of your lives (from CPF to who you can sell your flat to to whether your child can get a degree in Singapore). Pity your children and the next generation if they have to continue living a life trapped, without rights and freedom, without a real voice to speak up for them when something goes wrong, and without a crutch when they fall and need a hand to steady them until they can stand on their own two feet again.

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  • Amos humiliate L*L and PAP:

    KJ should not be shocked. Amos getting asylum in US which he helped should have convinced him that Singapore is indeed a police state.

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  • Amos: 1 PAP: 0:

    LKY and his wife must be very upset. Their last instruction to their children (in writing) was to demolish the house, not the PAP. Why can they not follow simple written instructions.

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  • the vicious PAP and FamiLee:

    Francis Khoo, a qualified lawyer in Singapore, found happiness switching career paths to public toilet cleaner in London.

    I’m only sad it’s too late for Francis Khoo who was never able to see his beloved home country before he died.

    This is how the vicious PAP and the FamiLee mercilessly hounded a bright and promising young Singapore lawyer and a personality more impressive than any of those unimpressive PAP Ministers and forced him into exile, and wasted and ruined his life.

    Francis Khoo’s eloquence would put to shame those self-paid multi-millionaire scholar PAP Ministers who can’t even speak without reading from a prepared text or would not grant an interview without knowing or vetting the questions beforehand.

    Francis Khoo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yY5cHDVR2I

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  • MarBowling:

    Great article by Kenneth.

    He is telling the Real Hard Truths of the Lee Kayu FAMILEE.

    Amos is blessed to receive the kindful help from Kenneth.

    Hopefully the 69.9% will wake up from their slumber after this once in 50 years Lee DieNasty Saga!

    HoLee shit$!

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  • Finally they came....:

    First they came for the “communist” (1987),
    I did not speak up, I was not a communist.

    Then they sue the oppositions to bankruptcy,
    I did not speak up, I was not an opposition member.

    Then they open the floodgates for unlimited FT,
    I did not speak up, I was already rich.

    Finally they came for me (LWL&LSY)
    but there was no more voice to speak for me!!!

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  • Old Moon:

    KJ, you are a good and decent man and that’s what matters. Not money, power or status.
    We count ourselves as fortunate to be alive and able to witness the drama being unfold.
    I am content to be on the sidelines and I believe good will come out of it for Singapore and Singaporeans.
    Good luck and best wishes to you and continue with your good work.

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  • rukidding:

    Great piece !…well written KJ !

    Time to “throw more stinks ” at ….you know who !

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  • PATRIOT of TEMESAK:

    Cynical but factual Ken…so just do it while its still HOT raise the BAR…

    the Sham as usual says Singapore is sick & tired of this famiLEE feud and as usual he is talking SHIT…every Singaporean from Civil servants to Corporate and KopiTiam corner are TALKING about it…

    Is the PM & Wife a pair of Liars and Dishonourable according to The Siblings??? Sue if they are NOT if NOT they are as Guilty as Hell….others were sued and BANKRUPT on lesser comments and views HYPOTHETICALLY or otherwise

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  • LIONS:

    It’s a terrible thing to be made an exile and I’m sure all Singaporeans who’ve suffered over the past five decades of Lee family appropriation of power and resources will be delighted to know that they’ve some heavy hitters batting on their side. I’m only sad it’s too late for Francis Khoo who was never able to see his beloved home country before he died.

    Kenneth Jeyaretnam
    —————————————————————————–

    it’s still less painful to be exiled if one is well-equipped in terms of financials, qualifications; one can start afresh in newfound home-country.

    for MANY very ordinary sgs, life is MADE MISERABLE having been MADE ‘ESTRANGED’ in their own HOMELAND; CITIZENS, yet having NO CITIZEN DIGNITY OR EVEN RIGHTS WITH ZERO SOCIAL BENEFITS after being rendered JOBLESS N POOR.

    SERIOUSLY, CHANGE IS MUCH NEEDED TO EMPOWER N ENLIVEN POOR ORDINARY ‘marginalised’ sgs once again!

    we all need and await the advent of an OPPOSITION-HERO!

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  • LAP - Loongexit And Papexit:

    Congrats, KJ! You must have felt very SHIOK while writing this piece.

    Anyway, let’s cross our fingers and hope that Yang’s almost self exile would lead the way to LOONGexit and PAPexit.

    Where there is a ( dispute of ) will, there is a way.

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  • It must be seen:

    Will any international bodies sanction Singapore due to an apparent abuse of power and citizen rights? Will any international courts willing to mediate between the feuding parties?

    Will anybody throw the books at the ‘secret’ committee regarding a conflict of interest? Of not reporting their intentions to the public and declaring a possibly conflict of interest at the onset?

    What spurn TCH to set up a committee to look into options if there is really no reason to do it? LKY has already decided to demolish the house. Did he wasted time and tax payers money to do something which is private to LKY’s family and none of his concern at all?

    If TCH and other ministers set up a committee, doesn’t they need to get approval from the PRIME minister who is sitting on top of their heads? Won’t the PM, as their boss, asked them if they got other better things to do? So essentially, the PM approved the committee, thus wasting millions of dollars on a non-issue.

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  • Singaporeans Losing Faith...:

    Something is very wrong!

    Guess Hsien Yang and Wei Ling had no choice but to expose it publicly cos they know if it is kept private, they are sure to lose the case.

    They need Singaporeans to know the truth and nothing but the truth!

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  • gong lee:

    @Ah Peng Kia – “While exaggerated somewhat (because LHY will unlikely be in struggling refugee status given his wealth and some influence) ”

    Response :

    Remember what happened to Tan Liang Hong ? He was sued upside down . His and his wife’s assets were frozen . This could also happen to LHY and his family . If pinky is not vindictive , he would have kept matters from the public despite what his siblings expose and continue to engage them privately . If it is only about the status of 38 , he could just give in to it being demolished . To remember a person , there are many ways not just something physical . Why is he so insistent that people remember his father through 38 . The father is his so he and his family should be the only ones concerned , just like his father who felt that his house 38 is only for his descendants alone . Hahaha , if he is so desperate for people to remember and idolise his dada , just build a big hospital or set up a charity with a large chunk of the money that they have had benefitted through whatever ways from the humble Singaporeans .

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  • Ronald Lingan:

    KJ is more of a opposition leader than that LTK.

    BUT deep down in our anals, we know that

    1. Singaporeans will still support pm Lee despite all the disputes and spats.

    2. WP will still be remain in parliament.

    This is why sg is impossible.

    From their craddles to their graves .
    No change.

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  • 70% Daft SInkies:

    So Francis Khoow was elevated to a priestly toilet cleaner. But his wife was a practicing UK surgeon, right? What about Francis Seow, heavenly garbage collector too?

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    Nothing new! Many native-born S’poreans have exiled themselves from this silly island governed by the PAP. Go to cities like Vancouver, Toronto, New York City, LA, San Francisco, Sydney, Melbourne or even Perth – these days, you can find Malaysia-S’pore food easily available. Hungry for Roti Prata or Roti Canai – no worries! – you can either buy frozen versions – heat & eat or even go to the nearest Mamak restaurant for “prata made on the spot” to eat. There are growing communities of S’poreans in many democratic cities of the world. S’pore had been suffering from a devastating BRAIN DRAIN for many years but yet, the local Mainsteam Media never discussed the issue. Ever wonder why?
    S’pore today is a Political Economy! After 1997/98 ACC where the rise of China coupled with the hollowing out of the S’pore economic pillars – the S’porean PMET had been plummeted from pillar to post like a well-beaten MMA fighter overmatched against a foreign fighter with gloves laced with concrete. This unfair fight had been sanctioned by the PAP who is well aware of the unfair advantage of the foreign fighter against our locals but allowed such a fight to take place. You see, PAP would rather displace a local and reward foreigners in order to entice them into converting to new citizens. And that is vote-banking mechanism in play. Many of the 70% voters are M’sian minorities who became New Citizen converts who voted to keep their perferred status quo with the PAP. Did anyone know that?
    A political economy is one where you can’t speak out against the political status quo. What is Francis Khoo working as a public toilet cleaner in the UK when we have Roy Ngerng who was sacked by Tan Tock Seng Hospital & had to work as a toilet cleaner to earn some money while unemployed. A political economy is where failure is rewarded (re: ex-NOL Ng Yat Chung rewarded with elevation to SPH CEO) while forthrightness is harshly penalized (re: Roy Ngerng, Chee Soon Juan, etc). Now we see the greatest irony! Lee Hsien Yang who is the beneficiary of a political economy who had reaped immense wealth from the very privilege system imposed by his father. He’s now seeking exile! What a joke?

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  • millennial:

    KJ, rise above your hates and pains. LHY, LWL & LSF have crossed the rubicon sacrificing their blood ties. They are the converts to be embraced. They represent valuable lessons for the cult worshippers of the White Tribe/Natural Aristocracy. Your fight is to be focused on the system not the individuals. Gloating over their imaginary future losses are not positive contributions.

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  • Sick n tired:

    They didnt speak out when they could see what their big bro PM was doing to our SG, did they?
    NO. They were just too comfortable living in their ivory towers with always more than enough ..no need to worry about losing their precious jobs or cpf..
    Never had to think where their next meal was coming from, did they?
    Unlike hundreds of thousands of sgs.
    Now with the threat of losing some of that million dollar inheritence, then we hear some noise from these despicable 3.
    Im so sick n fed up of them all.
    Fighting n accusing each other lik a bunch of kids.
    I said this , you said that , non stop!
    Just shut up n solve your own rich problems yourselves…n get your big brother to resign. Thats what we other sgs want..or else STFU.

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  • difficult to stomach:

    millennial:
    KJ, rise above your hates and pains.

    I can understand how difficult it is to stomach it if the State organs are still continuously being used against you (as well as all the oppositions and critics of the PAP).

    Like KJ said, the identities of the perpetuators of the death threats to his family could be easily identified, yet the police took no action. For the law in SG applies depending on who you are. One set of laws for the pro-PAP and another set for those anti-PAP.

    It is not just KJ who felt the heavy hands of the PAP rule of law in SG. All of us feel it. The more you stick your neck out, the bigger end of the stick you will receive. Ask Roy Ngerng. Or Dr.Chee. Unfortunately, KJ’s father JBJ is no longer around to testify personally. The list goes on and on.

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  • 西北杜郎:

    煮豆燃豆萁,

    豆在釜中泣;

    本是同根生,

    相煎何太急

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  • Anon:

    @millenial:
    ‘KJ, rise above your hates and pains. LHY, LWL & LSF have crossed the rubicon sacrificing their blood ties. They are the converts to be embraced’

    Yes, you can be drowned in the toxicity of this degenerative situation, or try to find some good in what is happening; good, not for politicians, but for the ordinary, loyal citizens of Singapore who have been fleeced and short-changed by uncaring policies. They are the ‘ground’ being trampled when the elephants fight. Does anyone remember and really care about their lot and not their own egos and careers?

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  • our Nelson Mandelas:

    the vicious PAP and FamiLee: This is how the vicious PAP and the FamiLee mercilessly hounded a bright and promising young Singapore lawyer and a personality more impressive than any of those unimpressive PAP Ministers and forced him into exile, and wasted and ruined his life.

    Francis Khoo’s eloquence would put to shame those self-paid multi-millionaire scholar PAP Ministers who can’t even speak without reading from a prepared text or would not grant an interview without knowing or vetting the questions beforehand.

    Francis Khoo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yY5cHDVR2I

    Don’t you feel the cruelty of what the PAP and the FamiLee had done to him as well as his family and the agony and the suffering they were made to go through?

    Repeat that for J.B. Jeyaretnam, Dr. Chee, Francis Seow, Tan Wah Piow, Roy Ngerng, Tan Liang Hong, etc. etc.

    Don’t forget Chia Thye Poh, Dr. Poh Soo Kai, Dr. Lim Hock Siew, Said Zahari, etc. etc. – our Nelson Mandelas.

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