Oxleygate: Yikes PAPpy has gd points

In Political governance, Public Administration on 27/06/2017 at 7:28 am

A PAP junior minister sums up my problems with the PM’s siblings position on the house to a T.

Indranee Rajah in a long “4 Financial Things You Should Know About the Oxley Dispute” on Facebook had this to say

4. Why is the government being asked to demolish the house now?

That is a good question.

The government has the same question.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew wanted Dr Lee Wei Ling to stay in the house as long as she wanted. The government has publicly stated that it will respect those wishes and does not intend to do anything until Dr Lee leaves. Letting the house stand for now does not go against those wishes. Mr Lee Hsien Yang has said Dr Lee does not want to move out and she has every intention of living a long life. That being the case, the matter may well not need to be decided for another 20 – 30 years. It can be decided by a future government.

So there is nothing for the government to decide now.

The real question therefore is why Mr Lee Hsien Yang is asking for an immediate commitment on demolition now?

What is the urgency?

Until and unless Dr Lee moves out, there is nothing for the government to decide. It is also a principle that the current government will not be able to bind a future government.

The options open to any government, current or future are also not binary. There are a range of things it can consider.

For example, DPM Teo Chee Hean has said he personally would not support options at the extreme ends of the range: At one end, preserving the house as it is for visitors to enter and see as that would be totally against the wishes of Mr and Mrs Lee Kuan Yew. And at the other end, demolishing the house and putting it on the market for new private residences.

One can understand DPM Teo’s feelings. A luxury condo with that address would confer bragging rights on a select few to say: “I’m living where Lee Kuan Yew lived”. The history and heritage of the site would be forever lost to ordinary Singaporeans, including future generations. That is probably not the way Singaporeans will want to remember 38 Oxley Road.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang has said that “[he has] not thought about what lies beyond demolition”. It would appear he has not ruled out redevelopment.


The options open to any government, current or future are also not binary. There are a range of things it can consider.

doesn’t mean that the cabinet committee was right to go into circumstances of the making of LKY’s will:

Seriously I don’t think it was wise of the Lee Hsien Loong or the cabinet committee (and by extension the cabinet) to try to go into the execution of LKY’s will, and that it was a serious and bad mistake to try to do so.

The piece also has a good summary of the law on conservation, preservation, demolition and compulsory acquisition.

Related article: Lee Wei Ling wants to eat her cake

  1. Money No Enough is a 1998 Singaporean comedy film about three friends with financial problems who start a car polishing business together.

  2. […] PM Lee’s position untenable – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Oxleygate: Yikes PAPpy has gd points – I Tahan You Very Long Already: FamiLEE Feud- Minus the […]

  3. LHY latest comment: He propose a memorial garden after demolishing but Teo Chee Hean never get back to them

    Somehow I feel that LHY still has some cards on his hands and is awaiting the right moment to show hand. There seem a pattern that after some proclamation by the ministers, he will show up some evidence that their proclamation has fallacy and is just parroting LHL lines.

    Just when ministers are casting aspirations that he is a money grubber wanting to develop it into condos. He shows his card.

    I think the govt is fighting a losing PR battle. No wonder they want to debate only in parliament. Its a safe and secure environment.

    If only the opp parties has just a strategic player and thinker like LHY, maybe PAP will not be that dominant.

    • Let’s wait and see. He made a real fack up by saying his wife’s firm didn’t prepare the will and themn went to tell us what the firm did so. I know antiPAPpy lawyer who had to admit that in legal terms the firm did so.

      He also facked up over the will preparation because he had interest in the will. Will blog on this.

  4. It takes great principles, ethics & strong governance to separate personal benefits, business affairs & public duties. Many rich families just can’t do it. Everything is too intertwined and it seeps into their DNA. Just look at the Trumps. What’s wrong with collecting more money??!? Better to keep the loot within the family than give it to others, even if it’s just crumbs. Problem comes when some family member feels shortchanged & seeks vindication. Or if the country has some semblance of strong independent checks & balance, and skeletons start falling out of closets.

    BTW does anybody find it hilarious that the Land Acquisitions Act — the very same weapon revised & used by Old Fart to unleash misery on tens of thousands — may very well be used against his dying wishes?!?!?!? Karma is a bitch!

  5. Technicality aside, what if there is very little material difference between the first and 7th Will? It would be no more than a cut and paste job for whoever put it together. Perhaps, that’s what the siblings meant, it was no more than a ‘cut and paste’ job of KGC’s cousin 1st will and why it could be done so quickly?

    • Other than the demolition clause, there’s the division of the loot. Under v6, she had two shares, her brudders i each. Under final all share equally.

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