38 oxley road


with opposition figures speaking about abuse of power at the Hong Lim Park rally on 15 July 2017, the matter has truly elevated from a family quarrel with political overtones (and entertainment value, though now exhausted) into a political issue.

First a simple question: are the speakers in favour or against demolishing the house? That is, if government prevents the fulfilment of LKY’s wish to demolish, it is abusing its power? That would be a difficult case to make, since the government clearly has power to declare any building to be historical and needing to be conserved. In any case, the government has not yet done so, and is respecting LKY’s wish to let LWL live in the house.

Preserving the house for political gain and image making, is a valid suggestion. In other words, not demolishing the house for history might be just a pretext. Again it would be a difficult case to prove, since there clearly is much history involved. Similarly, LHL choosing not to sue his siblings for defamation might be politically expedient, but he is not abusing any power in choosing this.

A somewhat curious charge is lack of closure; another way of putting it is the three Lee siblings have bombarded the public with all that noise and deserve some reprimand before they slunk away into silence. That might be a valid charge, but it would be hard to identify the specific power LHL abused for not providing good closure.

The speakers and audience obviously thought it worthwhile to hold a demo, but as is often the case with opposition politics, they have not explained clearly what they advocate. They are against PAP, and a citizen has the right to choose that. They need to be more specific about what action they want to see.

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