Singapore leader’s siblings say they feel threatened, have lost confidence in him

Source:Reuters Published: 2017/6/14 20:28:40

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's younger brother and sister said on Wednesday that they have lost confidence in the nation's leader and fear "the use of the organs of the state against us."

"We are concerned that the system has few checks and balances to prevent the abuse of government. We feel big brother omnipresent," Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang said in a joint news release and an accompanying six-page statement issued at 2 am Singapore time on Wednesday.

As a result, Lee Hsien Yang, and his wife Suet Fern, would be leaving Singapore. "I have no desire to leave. Hsien Loong is the only reason for my departure," he said.

"We feel hugely uncomfortable and closely monitored in our own country," they said, in a rare public display of discord at the top of a city state that usually keeps such matters behind closed doors.

In a statement, the prime minister denied the allegations made by his siblings, and said he was very disappointed that they have chosen to publicize private family matters.

"I'm deeply saddened by the unfortunate allegations that they have made," he said. "While siblings may have differences, I believe that any such differences should stay in the family," added Lee, who is overseas on holiday with his family.

Lee Hsien Yang told Reuters he still remained in Singapore as of Wednesday but said he was planning to leave "for the foreseeable future." He is a businessman and is the chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.

The siblings provided no specific evidence of action by the Singapore government against them. Reuters was unable to independently verify the accusations.

"There are many ways that messages get sent to people to make them feel unwelcome and I have received many messages. Not from my brother because we communicate via lawyers," he said in an interview.

"I would not do this if I did not feel threatened," he said.

At the heart of the family dispute is the future of a house in which their father, Lee Kuan Yew, lived most of his life. He was the first prime minister of Singapore and ruled it for three decades.



Posted in: ASIA-PACIFIC

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