The membership of the ‘secret committee’ tasked to decide on the fate of 38 Oxley Road is ‘fundamentally flawed’, says Lee Hsien Yang in his latest post responding to DPM Teo Chee Hean’s finally revealing of the members of the ministerial committee comprising Cabinet members.
Teo had claimed the members were those ‘responsible for heritage, land issues and urban planning’. But Lee Hsien Yang was not convinced. He questioned why ‘one’s subordinates’ should ‘be sitting arbitrating an issue related to their boss.’
LHY also singled out K Shanmugam’s membership as having a clear conflict of interest as the Minister had ‘advised Lee Kuan Yew and us on options to help achieve Lee Kuan Yew’s wishes, and the drafting of the demolition wish.’
Hsien Yang also said that when they had raised this in writing to Minister Lawrence Wong, they were brushed off with the statement: “Nothing you have stated precludes any member of the Cabinet from taking part in the Committee’s work or its deliberations, with the exception of the Prime Minister.”
He found the earlier refusal to identify the members of the committee ‘troubling’. What made matters worse was that K Shanmugam was indeed a member and that he too was complicit in this refusal, as he is an ‘experienced Senior Counsel and Minister for Law’, who should ‘well understand the problem of conflicts of interests.’