Oxley home to be demolished: Mr Lee's will

Oxley home to be demolished: Mr Lee's will

Two children of Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, have issued a statement reaffirming his wishes that his home in Oxley Road be demolished after his death.

Mr Lee died on March 23, aged 91.

In their statement yesterday, Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang - who were appointed the executors and trustees of Mr Lee's last will and testament dated Dec 17, 2013 - urged the public to respect their father's wishes.

In his will, the late Mr Lee stated that it was his and his late wife Kwa Geok Choo's wish that their house at 38 Oxley Road be demolished immediately after his death or after Dr Lee moves out.

"I would ask each of my children to ensure our wishes with respect to the demolition of the house be carried out," he stated.

Singapore's founding father had made this wish public on many occasions, including in his book Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going, said yesterday's statement. And he had, with his wife, expressed the same wish to his children in private numerous times.

He had stated in his will: "My view on this has been made public before and remains unchanged."

The late Mr Lee was well aware of calls to somehow preserve his home, his children said in the statement.

"His wish, both expressed to us privately and publicly, was unwavering, and was for the house to be torn down upon his passing. He was concerned an order might be issued against his wishes," it said.

In his will, he added that if his children are unable to demolish his home as a result of any changes in the law, rules or regulations binding them, it was his wish that the house never be opened to anyone other than his children, their families and descendants.

"Our father has given his life in service to the people of Singapore. We hope that the people of Singapore will honour and respect his stated wish in his last will and testament," the statement said.

Dr Lee and Mr Lee also thanked Singaporeans for sharing in their grief on the death of their father. A week of national mourning followed his death last month, with hundreds of thousands braving the sun and rain to pay their last respects to the late Mr Lee.

"We have been deeply touched by the huge outpouring of affection for and respect of our father. We humbly thank each of you."

The Straits Times understands that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will speak on this in Parliament today.

This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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