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The Lee family's highly politicised drama

What started as a private family quarrel about Lee Kuan Yew's house has woven itself into the fabric of Singapore politics and grown increasingly partisan. It should prompt us to reflect on power in this country.

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It has been almost six years since Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang went public with their grievances against Lee Hsien Loong, their older brother and current prime minister of Singapore. The trigger was a dispute over what to do with the old family home on Oxley Road, but by the time the younger Lee siblings released their statement, they had bigger worries. “We fear the use of the organs of state against us and Hsien Yang’s wife, Suet Fern,” they wrote.

Last week, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean revealed that the police are now investigating Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Suet Fern for allegedly giving false evidence in judicial proceedings related to the matter of Lee Kuan Yew’s will. The couple have refused to submit to police questioning, and have left Singapore. In a recent Facebook post, Lee Hsien Yang hinted at a life in exile, writing that “[it] pains me beyond words that I am unlikely ever to be able to see my sister face to face again.” In 2020, Lee Wei Ling wrote on her Facebook page that she had been diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy, a brain disorder that affects walking, balance, eye movements and even swallowing. There is no cure.

This isn't be the first time siblings have fallen out over a late parent’s will. But this isn’t your typical inheritance battle. It’s an inherently political fight that has grown increasingly politicised.

#37: The OxLee Feud Special
I’m chucking the usual format out of the window this week and doing something new at the request of some friends. In this issue (which is also coming to you a day early), I’ll be focusing solely on the Lee family feud, which resurfaced again this week with the AGC’s complaint against Lee Hsien Yang’…

A GIF-laden round-up of the Lee family feud that I put together in 2019.

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