Fathers impart advice in their own special way – Hsien Loong

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speaks at the Istana presidential palace in Singapore on July 29, 2015. AFP File Photo

SINGAPORE: “In their own special ways, fathers impart advice to help us make life decisions and learn values that steer us along the right path,” says Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

“For many of us, our fathers are our first heroes, and important role models as we grow up,” said the elder son of the founding father of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew (LKY).

These words were part of his Happy Father’s Day message in his latest posting on his Facebook today which was accompanied with a photo of a father sitting on a chair and son hugging the father from behind, both appearing happy together.

From the posting, Lee who had just returned from a week-long vacation seemed to be maintaining his ‘cool’ although he is in the midst of having a public feud with his siblings Dr Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang.

The family dispute had ‘unexpectedly’ emerged via social media at 2am on June 14 which was mostly focused on their father’s last will involving the late Kuan Yew’s home at 38, Oxley Road.

In his earlier posting upon arrival from his vacation yesterday, Lee said he would be “back to work on Monday (June 19)”.

“Just arrived home. Read many of your comments and glad to have met some Singaporeans overseas too,” he wrote.

Throughout his vacation which started on June 10, Lee had made only two postings and both in response to the six-page statement made publicly by his siblings on Facebook.

Cabinet ministers too have come up with statements in response during the week, especially those in the ministerial committee which was set up to consider the future of the house.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean had yesterday negated claims that there had been anything “secret” about the ministerial committee which he had set up as well as chairs it.

Teo had reportedly said that the government had the responsibility to consider the public interest aspects of any property with heritage and historical significance, and this applied to 38, Oxley Road.

In line with Cabinet secretary Tan Kee Yong’s statement on June 14, Teo noted that Prime Minister Lee had recused himself from all government decisions concerning the house.

On June 16, Lee’s younger brother Hsien Yang had claimed that “the secret committee” was entirely uninterested in exploring options for the house, instead focusing solely on challenging the validity of the demolition clause in LKY’s will.

Meanwhile, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said he supported the careful way in which Teo and the government were handling the issue as public interests were involved.

“He is right to explore options beyond the binary demolish-preserve decision,” said Singapore’s former prime minister.

“I conveyed his thinking to Lee Hsien Yang last year but the latter remained unhappy over the delay and uncertainty in demolishing the house,” he wrote in his Facebook on June 17.

Goh noted that he had read Teo’s statement explaining the setting up of the ministerial committee to study the future status of 38, Oxley Road.

Sometime last year, Goh said that Teo had shared with him the range of options he was exploring.

Goh advised him to respect Lee Kuan Yew’s wish “but agreed that it would be disrespectful of our own heritage to just demolish the house for it to be replaced with a commercial building or another private residence,” he wrote further.

Before ending his posting which carries the initial GCT, Goh wrote : “This is not the family legacy which their father would have wanted to leave behind.” – Bernama

 

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