Who do I believe?
My political mentor had always taught me this simple methodology of Criminology… always look for Motive first before you do anything else.
There are many accusations and counter-accusations flying around. Now the Pro-PAP-LHL people are saying Lee Suet Fern is a “puppet master”… manipulating behind the scene of the will… etc. But I ask, what is her motive, if any?
Allowing her husband to get slightly higher share when LWL’s share is reduced to be equal to the other two siblings? But this will in fact, benefits LHL as well! So why would LHL complains?
People are not looking at things in proper context. All three children of LKY are MULTI-Millionaire (if not billionaire), at least tens if not hundreds of millions net worth. Their families most probably could live for generations without doing anything! When you are that rich, the marginal utility of additional wealth is really marginal.
In fact, if it is really about money, LHY won’t have agreed to pay 150% for the Oxley house (50% for charity) to buy it from his brother, just to have it and allow his sister to stay in this house and later, demolish it! Thus, I do not believe money is the issue here and Lee Suet Fern has no obvious motive to gain anything out of all these bickering.
So what’s the beef here?
I do not think Lee Wei Ling mind how much she will get from LKY’s estate. Having read her past writings published on newspapers and her FB, rightfully or wrongfully, she has great emotional attachment to things, to people, to her parents, especially her father. She is single and has no family. All she has now, in terms of money, is more than enough for her to live till the end of her life. But there is only one motive and desire in her, the desire of living in the old Oxley house due to her emotional attachment. And of course, she will guard her family’s privacy with all force and thus, insisting that the house should not become a public place whereby other people could throng in and out of it.These are after all, her precious memories of her life.
Thus, when her relationship with LKY was frosty, for whatever reasons, she was more upset that she wasn’t allow to live in the Oxley house after LKY’s impending death, than having less share of his estate.
Lee Suet Fern just happened to become the mediator between the father and daughter. She managed to secure the most important part of the will, to allow LWL to stay in the house and to have it demolished after her passing.
From the emails released by LWL (the one LSF wrote to Shanmugam), I could see that Lee Suet Fern’s only concern is to mend the ties between the father and the daughter.
Thus, it is totally unfair and uncalled for to make Lee Suet Fern to look like an “evil puppet master” or “evil manipulator” of any sort.
To accuse LSF or even LHY to insert that Demolition clause into the Last Will sneakily without letting LKY know, is totally absurd. For this Demolition Clause, they gain absolutely nothing! Why would they risk the wrath of LKY by doing such thing?
LWL is the one who benefits directly and emotionally to have this Demolition Clause to be reinstated. And this is why she fought so hard against LHL when LHL tried to preserve it. Even felt sour when this Demolition Clause, for whatever reasons, was taken out in the two preceding wills.
LHY didn’t make noise openly against his brother until now, which I think is because he and his wife felt THREATENED. LHY didn’t even make noise of his unhappiness when he was made to pay 150% for the Oxley house, because basically money isn’t really a big problem to him. It is only when his and his family’s lives are THREATENED, he would openly put up such devastating joint statement.
On the other hand, LHL has been shown to be inconsistent.. as LHY has put it, saying different things at different times. But one thing is very clearly consistent, his desire and motive to keep the Oxley house intact, against his father’s wish even when LKY was alive!
For what motive? LWL and LHY had provided the reason: to make full use of LKY’s political legacy to extend his own political agenda. Do I believe in their assertion? Yes, I do because there isn’t any other plausible reason other than political reasons.
Thus, if you ask me who do I believe? I would say I believe LWL, LHY and LSF. I empathize LWL’s position of wanting to stay in Oxley house for sentimental value. I believe LSF genuinely wanted to mend ties between LWL and LKY. I also believe that there is no monetary motive on LHY’s part to want to fulfill his father’s wish. In fact, he has lost quite a bit of money here but yet, he felt betrayed by his brother, PM Lee, after paying so much money but still the brother wanted to use his power to keep the house via administrative powers.
As to whether Oxley house should be preserved for “heritage” or “historical value”, I shall comment another day.
Goh Meng Seng