In the last development of the 38 Oxley Road saga, lawyer Lee Suet Fern, Lee Hsien Yang’s wife, has been found guilty of misconduct in handling the late Lee Kuan Yew’s (LKY) last will. “Mr Lee, who was very frail and in poor health, was misled by the very people whom he trusted: his son, Mr Lee Hsien Yang, and daughter-in-law,” said the two-man disciplinary tribunal in its report. Mrs Lee’s case will now be sent to a higher court, where she faces a possible fine, suspension or disbarment if found guilty.
Mrs Lee’s defence said that she was “merely assisting in a family matter at the request of her husband“. However, the tribunal argued that Mrs Lee acted as a lawyer by drafting and executing the will. It said she had a conflict of interest, as her husband benefitted from the final will.
The tribunal found that Mr Lee Hsien Yang emailed his wife and father to carry on with proceedings in the absence of LKY’s usual lawyer, Ms Kwa Kim Li.
Mrs Lee explained that she did not read or discuss the changes in the final will with LKY. This included the change in shares of the 38 Oxley Road property and re-insertion of the demolition clause which stated that the property should be demolished after Dr Lee Wei Ling, LKY’s daughter, moved out. The tribunal took this as a dereliction (failure) of duty.
When asked why she failed to explain the draft to LKY, Mrs Lee said “I think Papa was his own best lawyer. He knew what he wanted.”
The Lees Fight Back
In response to the tribunal’s ruling, Mrs Lee said that she would fight the report in open court and urged the public to come to their own conclusions after viewing the Law Society’s record of the proceedings.
Dr Lee Wei Ling called the report a “travesty” in a Facebook post, and “yet another attempt to rewrite history” in the Oxley Road saga.
Mr Lee Hsien Yang has been accused of lying in his Facebook posts, where he suggested that Ms. Kwa had drafted the final will. In his defense, he told the tribunal that “his public statements could be inaccurate because they are not sworn statements and thus he may not look at them carefully.”
PM Lee has yet to comment.