The brother of Singapore’s prime minister on Friday accused government officials of harassing his family after it emerged he and his wife are under official investigation.
Lee Hsien Yang has long been at odds with his brother, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, over their late father – longtime Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who ushered Singapore through independence from Britain.
Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean told lawmakers that the family feud had largely died down by the time the investigation into Lee Hsien Yang and his wife, Lee Suet Fern, was underway.
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In a written reply made public in Parliament on Thursday, he said the two were being investigated over allegations of providing false evidence in judicial proceedings regarding the will.
Teo Chee Hean wrote that he has been accused of lying under oath by a panel of three judges and a disciplinary tribunal.
He told parliament that both had agreed to an interview with the police, but later refused, which he described as “disappointing”.
“Police have advised him to reconsider participating in the investigation, but he has since left Singapore and is out of the country,” he wrote, according to a copy of his office’s reply to parliament.
Contacted by The Associated Press on Friday, Lee Hsien Yang dismissed the allegations as “another attempt to defame me and attack me”, but said that “it is not safe for me to return to Singapore”. .
In a post on Facebook, Li Hsien Yang said that he and his sister, Li Wei Ling, who had joined him in questioning the execution of the will, had long said that they felt “the state against us and my family”. There was a fear of using the organs of
“The harassment of my family by the Singaporean authorities continues unabated,” he wrote.
The Prime Minister’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but he previously described his siblings’ allegations as “completely baseless”.
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His father, Lee Kuan Yew, led Singapore for more than three decades and is credited with turning the resource-poor island into a wealthy, bustling financial center with low crime and almost zero corruption.
After his death in 2015, the siblings clashed over a clause in his will that indicated that a family bungalow should be demolished rather than become some sort of tourist attraction.
Li Hsien Yang and his sister have accused their brother, the prime minister, of preserving the house as a “visible symbol” of their father to “increase his political capital”.
The prime minister rejected the allegations and said he recused himself from the government’s decision-making process on deciding the fate of the House.
Li Hsien Yang told the AP, however, that his father’s wishes left no room for doubt, and that he “did not want to build a temple for himself.”
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“It is clear that my father wanted the house to be demolished and he made this clear during his lifetime; it was clear in his will,” she said, adding that when the will was probated in 2015 “he would It was time to address.”
Li Hsien Yang’s son Shengwu Li tweeted that returning his parents to Singapore for questioning could put them at risk.
“In Singapore, authorities can detain you indefinitely without timely access to a lawyer, in inhumane conditions,” wrote Lee, an assistant professor of economics at Harvard.
“When a hostile totalitarian government says they want to ‘question’ you it is clear what they mean.”
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