SINGAPORE – Mr Li Shengwu, the eldest son of Mr Lee Hsien Yang, and his aunt, Dr Lee Wei Ling expressed surprise on Monday (July 17) that the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) is looking into a Facebook post by Mr Li criticising the Republic's court system over the weekend.
On Saturday (July 15), Mr Li, a Harvard academic, posted a link to a Wall Street Journal article on the 38 Oxley Road dispute involving his father, his aunt Dr Lee Wei Ling and his uncle Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
He described the article as a “good” summary, and likened the public disagreements over his late grandfather’s house as a "political crisis".
In the same post, Mr Li added a second link to a New York Times commentary alleging media censorship in Singapore, published in April 03, 2010 and wrote: “Keep in mind, of course, that the Singapore Government is very litigious and has a pliant court system. This constrains what the international media can usually report.”
In response to media queries, an AGC spokesperson said: “AGC is aware of the post and is looking into the matter.”
On Monday, in a public Facebook post, Mr Li said he was "somewhat surprised" that his last post had triggered a response. He clarified that the post in question was set to be seen by "friends only" and not deleted as reported.
He also said: "I'm surprised that the Singapore Government is so petty. Would they also like to trawl my private Facebook feed for seditious vacation photos?"
His aunt, Dr Lee Wei Ling, also expressed surprise on Monday at the "negative reaction" from the AGC over "a private post".
She added: "Is there a Government servant whose duty is to follow the Facebook activity of all people related to (Lee) Hsien Yang and I, including our private musings. Also, what Shengwu posted is a common topic amongst Singaporeans who are well informed. Is this not an example of 'Big Brother government'. Perhaps it is a case of "if the hat fits, take it."
This is not the first time that Mr Li has commented on the family dispute over the Oxley Road house.
Last month, he said on Facebook that over the last few years, his immediate family had become increasingly worried about what he alleged as a lack of checks on abuse of power.
In a subsequent post, he said that he did not intend to go into politics, adding: “I believe that it would be bad for Singapore if any third-generation Lee went into politics. The country must be bigger than one family.”
The Lee family dispute settled down two weeks ago, after Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling said that they welcomed their brother’s offer to manage their disagreement privately. This followed a two-day Parliament debate on the matter.
PM Lee said in Parliament that right from the start, he had wanted to manage the issue privately and not escalate it and be forced to take legal action.
Shortly after, his siblings published a joint statement on Facebook and said that they would “cease presenting further evidence on social media” for the time being, provided that they and their father’s wishes are “not attacked or misrepresented".