17 February 2019
Lee Hsien Yang, who has been locked in a bitter row with his brother over their late father's legacy, arrived in Hong Kong on Sunday with his wife. Photo: Bloomberg
Lee Hsien Yang, who has been locked in a bitter row with his brother over their late father's legacy, arrived in Hong Kong on Sunday with his wife. Photo: Bloomberg

Singapore PM’s estranged brother visits HK along with wife

Lee Hsien Yang, the brother of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, was spotted at the Hong Kong airport on Sunday, the latest chapter in an ongoing drama involving the family of the city-state’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew.

The estranged brother of Singapore’s incumbent leader arrived in Hong Kong along with his wife, Lee Suet Fern, setting off speculation about the purpose of the visit.

Approached by reporters, Lee Hsien Yang said he came to Hong Kong to see some friends.

He did not go into details, or comment on his feud with his brother over issues surrounding the fate of their late father’s house in Singapore, reports.

Lee Hsien Yang and his sister, Lee Wei Ling, had earlier this month accused their brother Lee Hsien Loong of not honoring Lee Kuan Yew’s wishes with regard to a house on 38 Oxley Road, Singapore.

In his will, Lee Kuan Yew had ordered that his long-time residence be demolished upon his death.

But Lee Hsien Loong’s siblings allege that their brother, Singapore’s serving prime minister, wants to preserve the house, in defiance of the father’s wishes.

The PM wants to preserve the house in order to milk Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy for political gain, Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling said in social media posts, blowing the lid open on a bitter family dispute.  

Lee Hsien Loong has refuted the allegations, and said he will do his utmost “to continue to do right by my parents”.

Amid the row, Lee Hsien Yang has said he fears harassment by Singapore government agencies and that he might leave the city-state for a while and go into exile.  

As he arrived in Hong Kong on Sunday, there was speculation as to whether the trip was linked to potential plans to seek a new place to live.

But Lee Hsien Yang was tight-lipped when queried about the details of the trip.

When asked how long he intends to stay in Hong Kong, Lee Hsien Yang snapped at a reporter: “It’s none of your business”.

Lee Hsien Yang and his wife are believed to have traveled to Hong Kong without any assistants. There was no one greeting them at the arrival hall, apart from reporters.

Lee Hsien Yang had earlier said in a public statement that he has lost confidence in his elder brother, accusing him of abusing his power as PM in relation to the handling of their late father’s house.

Political commentator Willy Lam Wo-Lap said he does not believe Lee Hsien Yang is emigrating to Hong Kong or seeking political asylum.

As Lee Hsien Yang has been active in the telecom and aviation sectors for years, it is possible that he could indeed be visiting friends, Lam told Apple Daily.

If he issues any politically sensitive statements against Lee Hsien Loong during the Hong Kong trip, it could create an uncomfortable situation for Hong Kong authorities, Lam added.

The government’s protocol division secretariat said it has no information to provide as there were no reception or itinerary arrangements made for Lee Hsien Yang’s visit in Hong Kong.

The police, meanwhile, also said they have no information regarding Lee Hsien Yang’s arrival.

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