The Lee house stays...for now

The pre-war bungalow, home to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew for the last 65 years, will remain - for now.

His only daughter, Dr Lee Wei Ling, will continue to live at 38, Oxley Road.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Dr Lee has informed him that she intends to continue living in the house.

"Therefore, there is no immediate issue of demolition of the house and no need for the Government to make any decision now," he added.

The house is where Mr Lee began his married life.

He secretly married former Raffles College classmate Kwa Geok Choo in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1947. After their official wedding in 1950, they moved into Oxley Road.

PM Lee said both his parents felt strongly about demolishing the home after Mr Lee's death.


The late Mr Lee said the house "should not be kept as a kind of relic", as he had seen too many other houses of famous people "kept frozen in time… as a monument with people tramping in and out" and invariably "become shabby".

"My mother also felt strongly about this. She was most distressed at the thought of people coming through her private spaces after she and my father had passed away, to see how they had lived," PM Lee said.

In his will, the late Mr Lee stated it was his and his late wife's wish to have their home demolished immediately after his death or after Dr Lee moves out.

Dr Lee and younger brother Lee Hsien Yang had, as the executors of the will, asked Singaporeans on Sunday to respect their father's wish.

And should Dr Lee no longer live there, PM Lee said: "Speaking as a son, I would like to see these wishes carried out. However, it will be up to the Government of the day to consider the matter."

This article was first published on April 15, 2015.
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