Note: The table will be continuously updated.
Instead of working, here I am chronicling the recent political development in Singapore: The contest against the second-generation political elites. Claims of mistrust and abuse, allegations of greed. Obviously things are just beginning, but it’ll be good to get a sense of how far we’ve come. Well, actually I am more interested in how ‘distractionary claims’ are thrown about. Good ol’ mud slinging. But also, sifting through the mud can help us to identify the actual issue at hand.
Prelude: Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore’s long-time Prime Minister. Out of his three kids, the eldest became the current Prime Minister, while the other two are not in politics. The elder Lee died in 2015. Later the same year, a general election was held. Although the ruling party was widely expected to win, the timing to garner sympathy votes really questioned the confidence of the ruling party. Now 2 years later, the 3 siblings are quarelling over the family home, said to be worth $24 million. But it’s not just about the house. It’s reprentative of the common resent at the authoritarian, strong-armed tactic of the ruling party that has continuously ruled Singapore for over half a century.
Then one fine day in June, the local internet exploded when the younger siblings said they have no confidence in the PM. Note that many critics have been made bankrupt or exiled for merely calling ‘nepotism’. So this claim by the younger siblings make for an interesting watch, because:
- Will the PM sue/jail his own siblings?
- What does this mean for critics against the state?
No one knows the answer. But for now, here’s the timeline of events:
1. Lee Hsian Yang, aka LHY, aka youngest bro
2. Lee Wei Ling, aka LWL, aka sister
Lee Hsien Loong, aka PM of Singapore, aka eldest bro
|13-14 June||– Follow Lee Kuan Yew’s (LKY, father, ex-PM) will, demolish the Oxley house.
– PM is abusing power to block the will.
– You want your son to become PM ah? (link)
|– I’m on holiday. Wait till I come back.
– And this is family issue. Don’t make public. (link)
|14-15 June||– What family issue? You have secret ministerial committees to decide what to do with the house. No fair. Abuse of power. (link)||– Why you make LKY change will? I am suspicious.
– Also bro, I think your lawyer wife is kaypoh. I am suspicious.
– Sis, I think sister-in-law is making us fight. You should be suspicious. (link)
|15-16 June||– LKY can change his will as he liked. Up to him lah. He change many times also, must still follow final will. (link)
– LKY wanted wife’s lawyer company to come confirm the will. Don’t anyhow say she kaypoh. (link)
– You said to public LKY wanted to demolish the house. But then you say he wanted to keep it. So which one? (link)
– LKY signed right under the part of the will that said he wanted it demolished. (link)
– Eh hallo, I think it’s the PM wife who is kaypoh. (link)
|–||PM’s son: Guys I don’t want any part of this. I love America. Why would I want to go back to Singapore to become PM? (link)|
|16-17 June||– Why your committee want to challenge the will? Just demolish the house lah. (link)
– Your personal lawyer that sent us the letter… How come he now the attorney general? (link)
|–||Former PM: Move along, nothing to see. Just a family matter. (link)
Deputy PM: Nothing secret about committee. Just some ministers talking. Also we shared some advice with the family. (link)
|17-18 June||– Not a secret committee? We’ve been asking about that for a year, only now you tell us. (link)
– Eh, the law minister also in the committee. But he advised LKY on what to do. How can he us on how to demolish the house, and sit in a committe that wants to keep the house? Conflict of interest! (link 1, link 2)
|–||Law Minister: No lah, even though I serve many people, I’m impartial. (link)
Former PM: Guys, please. Move along. Nothing to see. Just a family matter. (link)
|19-20 June||– Deputy PM, we don’t remember meeting you after you formed the committee. Also when we talked you always said it’s your personal view. (link)
– PM’s lawyers asked us for Deed of Gift (for some items in the house to be displayed for exhibition etc). Then he emailed again, saying that the PM already got it. These things are confidential. How did he get it? (link)
|– Eh stoppit lah, you making me look bad. Ok fine I’ll tell the ministers to grill me in parliament. 3 July. Whip lifted. Happy? (link)||Workers’ Party (the opposition): Good. We’ll ask these questions. (link)
Tan Cheng Bok, the president we don’t deserve: Parliament not the place for family matters. Go to court lah. (link)
|22 June||– Apparently PM got the Deed of Gift in his public capacity as PM, but use it for family issue. (link)
– According to the record, one day after LKY got into ICU, PM’s wife passed some of his belongings to the Heritage Board. She acted like she represents the PM’s Office, but she is not PM’s Office. (link)
|–||PM’s wife: Hallo I was overseas at the time. You, on the other hand, went on vacation after he died, so I have to clear his things. Also, I told you what we’re giving away. (link)
Heritage Board: Urmm sorry we got the belongings later, not the day after LKY got in ICU. Wrong date. Clerical error. (link)
Deputy PM: Ministerial committees are normal. And we think long term. (link)
|23 June||Read that first——–>
But you didn’t want it, did you? Come see email evidence. (link)
Then read this———>
|–||Minister for National Development: The donation of LKY’s belongings came with weird conditions, e.g. we have to say he wants his house demolished. But we accepted it. (link)
<——Read that second
Sr. Minister of State, (pt. 1): Look guys, nothing is happening. Nothing is changing. The PM is still the good guy. (link)
|24 June||– PM wife, you are not the executor, so you shouldn’t meddle in handing over our father’s belongings. (link)
– Oi, stop getting your ministers to discredit the will. Fight me in court. (link)
|–||Sr. Minister of State, (pt. 2): Final will said that house should be demolished. But final will is a mystery because no one knows who wrote it. Also LHY your share increased in the last will. (Now senpai will notice me). (link)|
|25 June||– Stop rewriting the past. (link)||–||–|
|26 June||–||–||Sr. Minister of State, (pt. 3): Just saying, house is worth $24m. Is that why you want house demolished now? (Senpai, I deserve a promotion!) (link)|
|27 June||– LKY wanted the house demolished, so we want it demolished lah. (link)
– We ask you, why was the committee formed only in 2016? It’s only after we told you we want it demolished that it was formed. (link)
|– Allegations not true. Wait till 3 July, I’ll address the parliament.||–|
|28-29 June||– I repeat, the committee didn’t talk to us. (link)
– Even now your ministers already back your story. Later in parliament all wayang only. (link)