What ST missed out on its 3 page report. Judge for yourself the merits of the Tribunals’ verdict.
‘Lee Kuan Yew knew exactly what he wanted’
The late Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore’s Prime Minister from 1965 to 1990. Lee Suet Fern was represented by Senior Counsels Kenneth Tan and Walter Woon, lawyer Abraham Vergis and two others from Providence Law.
The mother of three denied being Lee’s lawyer and rejected the assertion of an implied retainer. She also argued that if she was in a position of conflict of interest, her father-in-law was fully aware and chose to proceed.
In submissions to the tribunal, Woon described the Law Society’s argument – that Suet Fern and Hsien Yang deliberately cut Kwa Kim Li out and got Lee to execute his last will in her absence, and misleading him as to its contents – as being “totally implausible”.
Woon, a former Attorney-General, pointed out that if the couple had meant to cut Kwa out, “there was no reason to send her a copy of the draft Will before execution nor to tell her after the event that it had been done.
“If there were any irregularities, they would have been exposed practically immediately,” said Woon.
He added that the December 2013 will merely “re-affirmed” the equal division of his estate made by Lee in his original 2011 will, which reflected the agreement among the siblings. In addition, Suet Fern became aware that Lee originally had given Wei Ling an extra one-seventh share in the penultimate will only several months after his death.
Therefore, there could not have been a breach of duty on her part.
Furthermore, Woon asserted, “The Tribunal is being invited to make a finding that Mr Lee did not understand his own Will despite reading and re-reading it not just once but several times.”
“The alternative which the Law Society is putting forward is that Mr Lee Kuan Yew, a very brilliant lawyer and world statesman, did not understand his own will despite reading it several times.”
He also noted that there has been no suggestion by the Law Society that Lee was not in full command of his faculties at the time he executed his will in December 2013. There has also been no allegation that Suet Fern had influenced Lee by “undue influence or unconscionable conduct”
“Anyone who has ever had dealings with Mr Lee Kuan Yew would find the very idea utterly laughable. Mr Lee Kuan Yew was a dominating character of sharp intellect who knew exactly what he wanted and was accustomed to having his instructions carried out without delay,” said Woon.
Article contributed by Balasubramaniam Murugesu