Leong Mun Wai Disagrees With Ministers Talking About Police Investigations On Lee Hsien Yang & Lee Suet Fern In Parliament
Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Leong Mun Wai took to Facebook to follow up on a question he’d asked in Parliament on Monday (20 Mar).
He had asked why Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Mrs Lee Suet Fern (“LHY Case”) were publicly named as being under police investigation while the names of the executives investigated in the Keppel Offshore & Marine (“KOM”) bribery case were not.
Lee Hsien Yang & Wife Were Publicly Named As They Left S’pore During Investigations: Shanmugam
Minister of Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam replied that there were various factors, including where the offender has absconded or left the jurisdiction while investigations are ongoing.
He also asked about Mr Leong’s concerns regarding Mr and Mrs Lee when he did not appear to raise objections regarding Karl Liew in the Parti Liyani case.
However, Mr Leong disagreed, saying that Parliament should not be used for influencing opinions on “what is fundamentally a family dispute”.
Leong Mun Wai asks about differences between police investigations into Lee Hsien Yang & KOM case
Mr Leong stated his reasons for attending Parliament and asking the Parliamentary question, even though his mother had passed away last Friday.
“We would not have taken issue with the disclosure of names in the LHY Case if the names of the individuals involved in the KOM case were disclosed,” he said.
He then disagreed with Mr Shanmugam bringing up the Parti Liyani case, saying it “is just another attempt to muddy the waters”. He thus asked that everyone concentrate on Keppel Marine and Mr and Mrs Lee instead.
Taking issue with what Mr Shanmugam said about Mr and Mrs Lee “absconding” from Singapore during investigations, Mr Leong pointed out that this is a criminal offence.
Authorities had said they did not issue a written order to report to the police to assist with investigations under the Criminal Procedure Code as both of them had appeared willing to cooperate.
“Under such circumstances, I do not think we can consider Mr and Mrs Lee to have ‘absconded’,” Mr Leong said.
“Doesn’t such rhetoric also impute improper motives and a presumption of guilt on Mr and Mrs Lee?”
He also pointed out that the general public would view the KOM case with “as equally, if not even more significant public interest” compared to the 38 Oxley Road case.
“Will it make a difference to name them?” he asked, considering the individuals were named publicly in Brazilian court filings as well as Bloomberg news reports.
Why not make a public statement
Mr Leong added that there was no indication that Mr and Mrs Lee were being investigated until Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean responded to a Parliamentary Question making no mention of any criminal investigation.
“If there is a need to release accurate facts on a specific case, why not make a public statement instead of releasing information via an unrelated Parliamentary Question?” he asked.
I am of the opinion that Parliament is the wrong forum for influencing public opinion on what is fundamentally a family dispute.
Mr Leong said talking about the case and saying Mr and Mrs Lee absconded “[runs] the risk of turning Parliament into a platform to colour public opinion on criminal proceedings”.
“We need more clarity to ensure that a double standard is not being [practised],” he concluded.
Police say couple had appeared cooperative
On 20 Mar, police confirmed that there was no written order for Mr and Mrs Lee to attend an interview as they seemed cooperative, according to The Straits Times (ST).
“A written order requesting attendance before the police, under Section 21 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), is not generally issued in the first instance unless the person is assessed as likely to be uncooperative, or if there is some other reason,” they said.
Mr and Mrs Lee are being investigated for lying during disciplinary proceedings against Mrs Lee in relation to preparing Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s will before he passed away in 2015.
Police laid out what happened:
- Police meet Mr and Mrs Lee on 9 June 2022 to ask them to attend an interview, including a lettered request
- They agree to speak to police and confirm the exact date later
- 13 June: Mr and Mrs Lee tell the police they’ll be available for an interview on 13 July
- They later email to say they won’t attend the session
- 15 June: Mr and Mrs Lee leave the country
The written order was not given due to these circumstances, including that they’d initially agreed to be interviewed.
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