Singapore will not be dragged down by Lee family’s ‘petty disputes’: ESM Goh
‘Grave concerns’ about how Lee Kuan Yew’s last will was prepared: PM Lee
Above are two headlines in Channel News Asia online appearing one above the other on 17 June as if the editor intentionally placed them there to let the readers see the contradiction. Whether this is petty or grave is a matter of opinion, and depends on whether one is a party to the feud or just a bystander watching with disinterest on the sideline.
Many have been saying that this is a petty family matter and should not be out in the public as it concerns the inheritance of LKY. Is it that simple, about whether his family home should be demolished or to be gazetted as a national monument? Or perhaps it is like what Lee Sheng Wu said, if one’s million dollar salary depends on not understanding an issue, then it is petty to them. The second issue would be of public interest for sure. The squabbles between the siblings could be private and personal that the public need not know.
The open joint letter added a few other factors to make it a public concern, ie the abuse of power charges, using state organs and threats or fear of personal safety. What would these allegations mean to the public? Petty or grave? The PAP likes to talk about the intent and purpose of an issue. The allegation of abuse of power is no petty matter, or is it? The abuse of state organs too is no small matter. What about the fear or threat of personal safety? This last part is more a digression from the main issue.
Hsien Loong is going to Parliament to defend these allegations. So, do you think it is petty or grave? Hsien Loong even lifts the whip and encourages all the MPs from both camps to question him vigorously. Not sure if the format of questioning is still the same, that MPs must submit questions one week in advance or something like that, or would they be allowed to throw questions at him off the cuff, on the spot? Whichever, this is the first time that a PM has volunteered to be challenged and questioned vigorously, ie giving permission for the MPs to ‘tarok him jialat jialat’ in Parliament. He must have believed in the saying ‘genuine gold not afraid of fire’ or 真金不怕火. The MPs can light all the fire in Parliament but he would stand out unaffected.
See how grave is this matter? Hsien Loong even apologized to the people. Now who is saying that this is petty and the people are tired of it?
The next big question, would Hsien Loong dare to sue his brother and sister, the children of Lee Kuan Yew, or put them behind bars for whatever charges? The loyalists and the old guards would not allow it, the cabinet ministers would not allow it, the people of Singapore would not accept it. Doing so would be the downfall of Hsien Loong and the PAP, I think.
There is a stronger message in the joint statement that was made public. What did Wei Ling and Hsien Yang want the public to know that is more important than the status of the family home and the family squabble? What is the message? I would not venture further than where the angels fear to tread. Obviously Hsien Loong and those that could see that this is not a petty family dispute can see the picture very clearly.