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PM Lee apologises for ‘private dispute’ that has affected Singapore

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong apologized after a family dispute with his two siblings over their late father’s estate spilled back into the public sphere, pledging to address parliament next month on the matter.I have instructed that the PAP party whip be lifted.Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) Leon Perera wants more information on ministerial committees that are not made public, while NCMP Daniel Goh asked Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu whether Deeds of Gifts executed with the National Heritage Board may be shared with third persons. “I urge all MPs, including the non-PAP MPs, to examine the issues thoroughly and question me and my Cabinet colleagues vigorously”.He added that he had done everything possible to avoid the dispute and had wanted to settle his siblings’ unhappiness privately.Separately, the Singapore Democratic Party issued a statement calling for a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to look into PM Lee’s dispute with his siblings, instead of having the matter debated in Parliament. “As your Prime Minister, I apologise to you for this”.The feud between the children of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister, over the future of the family home erupted publicly last week in a flurry of accusations and denials through press releases and Facebook postings, which also touched on Lee Hsien Loong’s leadership.The saga began in the wee hours of last Wednesday morning when Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang posted a lengthy statement on their Facebook pages declaring they had “lost confidence” in PM Lee and do not trust him as a brother or a leader. Lee Hsien Yang, who said he and his wife would be leaving Singapore because they felt closely monitored and threatened, has no immediate comment.Lee Hsien Loong and two younger children of the city-state’s revered founding leader, Lee Kuan Yew, have been attacking each other on Facebook and global media for days as a dispute over the future of the family home became public in a spectacle that has shocked Singaporeans.The sparsely furnished five-bedroom house in Oxley Road was built in the late 19th century in what used to be a plantation district, and gained value as Singapore became urbanised and prosperous. PM Lee also donated all his proceeds to charity. “There should be no reason for any further quarrel since I no longer own the house and I do not take part in any government decisions on the house”, said PM Lee.”I had hoped that this would satisfy them”.This committee was set up to discuss options for the house and their implications.”I will do my utmost to continue to do right by my parents”, Mr Lee said.”These serious allegations went beyond private and personal matters, extending to the conduct of my office and the integrity of the government”. “They must be and will be dealt with openly and refuted”. He called for open discussion among parliament members to “strengthen confidence in our institutions and our system of government”.He added that he and his Cabinet are “determined to fix the damage that has been done to Singapore”. He served as the country’s leader from 1959 to 1990 and died in 2015.