Given that today’s Parliament session was a forum for PM Lee Hsien Loong to repeat what he and his ministers have already stated publicly, it served little purpose to clarify the grave allegations that Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang have made.
This is of overriding importance to the nation. As Singapore faces unprecedented challenges to our economic and security arrangements, it is crucial that the government understands and practices the rule of law.
Abuse of power undermines the rule of law and does not inspire confidence in good governance. This is why allegations regarding abuses of power by the PM must be looked into.
To do this, as we have stated here, a Commission of Inquiry (COI) where PM Lee and his siblings are called to testify under oath, and where they can be cross-examined before an independent panel. This is especially important since the PM has decided not to take a civil suit against his siblings.
Singaporeans demand more clarity from the PM and they deserve better than yesterday’s non-answers given by Mr Lee in Parliament.
The alternative is for him to take his siblings to court.
On this front, PM Lee said: “In normal circumstances, in fact, in any other imaginable circumstance but this, I would have sued immediately. Because the accusation of the abuse of power is a very grave one, however baseless it may be. And it is in fact an attack not just on me, but on the integrity of the whole Government. But suing my own brother and sister in court would further besmirch our parents’ names. At the end of the day, we are brother and sister, and we are all our parents’ children.”
This statement is hypocritical. The PM acknowledges that his siblings’ attack is an attack on the “integrity of the whole Government” and that in normal circumstances he would have sued immediately.
The fact that he is making an exception because the matter involves his family is unacceptable. When he took office as PM, Mr Lee swore the Oath of Office to carry out his duties “without fear or favour, affection or ill-will”.
It is his duty to uphold this sacred promise that he has undertaken to the people and constitution of the Republic of Singapore. It is highly disturbing that he has chosen not to take legal action to protect the Government’s integrity based on personal-familial reasons. This is not the hallmark of a leader with “iron” as Mr Lee once said, citing his father.
If Mr Lee chooses not to convene a COI or take proper legal action, then his leadership of this Government must be seriously questioned.