Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday (Jul 3) explained why he chose to raise in Parliament a family dispute instead of suing his siblings in response to a public spat which started in mid-June.
“Many people have asked me why I’m not taking legal action, to challenge the will, or sue for defamation, or take some other legal action to put a stop to this and clear my name,” said PM Lee. “I took advice and considered my options very carefully. I believe I have a strong case.
“In normal circumstances, in fact, in any other imaginable circumstance but this, I would have sued immediately.”
“Because the accusation of the abuse of power is a very grave one, however baseless it may be. And it is in fact an attack not just on me, but on the integrity of the whole Government.”
“But suing my own brother and sister in court would further besmirch our parents’ names,” he explained. “At the end of the day, we are brother and sister, and we are all our parents’ children.”
“It would also drag out the process for years, and cause more distraction and distress to Singaporeans. Therefore, fighting this out in court cannot be my preferred choice.”
“Every family will understand that family disputes do happen, but they are not something to flaunt in public. That is why I have done my best to deal with this out of the public eye.”
PM Lee said his purpose in keeping his submissions to the Ministerial Committee private was “not to pursue a fight with my siblings, but to assist the Committee in its work”.
“Unfortunately, my siblings made public allegations against me. I then had no choice but to defend myself, and release the statements and facts about the matter.”
“I stand by the statements I have published but I really don’t want to go further if I can help it.”