To demolish the house or not: What LKY really wanted

The whole Lee family saga seems to surround the issue of demolition of LKY’s house. Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling on one side accusing their brother, Lee Hsien Loong, for using his PM authority to stop the demolition of the house. PM, on the other hand, has said that he understands his father’s wish but also acknowledges that the Government has the right to decide what to do with the house.

Lee Wei Ling posted PM’s email to the siblings on her FB yesterday.


So according to Lee Wei Ling, PM knew that LKY’s Will came after the Cabinet note. It seemed that LKY was insistent of demolishing the house and there was no second option to it.

However, if we look at paragraph 7 of LKY’s Will – the only part which is open to the public, the picture is not what Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling has painted.

“I further declare that it is my wish and the wish of my late Wife, KWA GEOK CHOO, that our house at 38 Oxley Road, Singapore 238629 (“the House”) be demolished immediately after my death, or if my daughter Wei Ling, would prefer to continue living in the original house, immediately after she moves out of the House. I would ask each of my children to ensure our wishes with respect to the demolition of the House be carried out.

If our children are unable to demolish the House as a result of any changes in the laws, rules or regulations binding them, it is my wish that the House never be opened to others except my children, their families and descendants.

My view on this has been made public before and remains unchanged. My statement of wishes in this paragraph 7 may be publicly disclosed notwithstanding that the rest of my Will is private.”


Indranee Rajah summed it up:

Therefore, even based on the 7th Will, several things are immediately clear:

– Demolition was not the only option contemplated by Mr Lee Kuan Yew;

– There are two parts to the clause. The part first expresses his and Mrs Lee’s wish, which was for demolition;

– However, the second part recognises that the house may not be demolished for a number of reasons. Mr Lee accepted that the house may not be demolished and in such case expressed his wishes on what should happen. Essentially, he did not want the House to be open to the public.

Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang, please listen up. Your papa wanted the house to be demolished if it’s possible but LKY also knows that he is not above the law or the Government. He just didn’t want the public to step into his house.

So, can you two stop all this bickering with your brother and move on with life? Because that’s what we, Singaporean commoners, would want to do.