Why was ‪38 Oxley Road‬ not left to Lee Wei Ling?

As a father to 4 kids, I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out why was the house bequeathed to Lee Hsien Loong and not Lee Wei Ling.

I tried putting myself in LKY’s shoes – if both my sons moved out of my house when they got married and went on to have children and form their own family, and a precious, unmarried daughter who stayed in my house all her life, supported my wife and I through our final days in the very same home, surely I will leave my house to her. 

This is for obvious reasons. Firstly, it is known that Dr Lee was particularly close to her parents, accompanying them for trips and functions. Also, she would have deeper attachment to the house compared to her brothers having stayed there all her life, and besides, where will she live now that she is in her 60s, has no one to rely on? She must have been daddy’s greatest worry after Mrs Lee passed.

Yet the house was not left to her, it was left to Lee Hsien Loong. LKY, in his will, said he wished for the house to be demolished and if unable to, he hoped it would only be accessible by family members. Based on the full Clause 7 of the will – both the demolition and the limited access part – the only logical explanation would be LKY knew the house was not just an asset, and it has nationalistic values attached to it (PAP was formed in the basement yadah yadah). Being the sharp critter he was, LKY then chose to leave the house to his eldest son and PM of Singapore, and stated his wish to restrict access if the house cannot be demolished for any reason. He must have also trusted that his eldest would not do anything stupid to the property nor evict his sister – which is a very heartening assurance to any parent. 

I wish I could trust my eldest to have such sense to protect his siblings but judging from the way things look now, one can only hope. In any case, as any loving father, I only wish the siblings would live in peace and stop these disputes already.

Reader Contribution

– A father of four

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