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Monday, January 07, 2019, 23:29
Singapore first family feud over founder's will resurfaces
By Reuters
Monday, January 07, 2019, 23:29 By Reuters

This June 17, 2017 picture shows residents walking past the house of Singapore's late prime minister Lee Kuan Yew at 38 Oxley Road in Singapore. (TOH TING WEI / AFP)

SINGAPORE – A feud between Singapore's prime minister and his siblings resurfaced on Monday when the public prosecutor said there were questions over the involvement of a family member in the preparation of their father's will. 

The siblings have publicly bickered since June, 2017 over the future of the family home in which late leader Lee Kuan Yew, who died in 2015, had lived for most of his life

The case, which comes ahead of a general election expected as soon as this year, stems from a dispute over the old house of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first premier and the father of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. 

The siblings have publicly bickered since June, 2017 over the future of the family home in which the late leader, who died in 2015, had lived for most of his life. 

Prime Minister Lee's younger brother, Lee Hsien Yang, and sister, Lee Wei Ling, want the house to eventually be demolished in accordance, they have said, with their father's wishes as stated in his will. 

READ MORE: Last will of Lee Kuan Yew 'troubling', says S'pore PM

But the prime minister has questioned whether his father really wanted the home, near Singapore's bustling Orchard Road shopping district, to be knocked down. He has said he has recused himself from government discussions on the matter. 

On Monday, the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) said it had referred to the Law Society a case of "possible professional misconduct" over the involvement of the wife of the prime minister's brother in the will. 

The wife, Lee Suet Fern, who is a lawyer, appears to have prepared the elder Lee's last will despite the fact that her husband was one of the beneficiaries of the will, the AGC said in a statement. Lee Suet Fern declined to comment. 

ALSO READ: S'pore PM says wants to avoid taking family feud to court

But in a Facebook post on Monday, Lee Hsien Yang said his wife "was never Lee Kuan Yew's lawyer". 

He added: "No one has complained from the outset on the process and circumstances of our father's signing his final will - not Lee Kuan Yew, not his estate...not any of the beneficiaries, including Lee Hsien Loong...The will was proven in court in 2015 with no issues raised." 

The government panel set up to look into the house said early last year that a future government should make the final call.

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