Singapore leading family feud

Singapore leading family feud


Sam Deave, Corporate Services Manager

An online public dispute flared up last week in Singapore’s ruling family.

The current Prime Minister’s siblings took to Facebook to say that they had lost confidence in him.

PM Lee Hsien Loong is the son of the former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who is credited with transforming a resource-poor but strategically located postcolonial port into Southeast Asia’s most prosperous nation and a thriving financial centre for the region. However the family squabble comes at a time when tensions and competition in the region challenge Singapore’s prosperity.

Lee Hsien Loong is serving his third term and is due to step down after the next elections, by April 2021. Accusations by family members suggest that he is harbouring political ambitions for his son, Li Hongyi, who many now believe is being groomed to ensure a third generation of Lee family leadership. Li Hongyi’s cousin, Li Shengwu, entered the debate saying he was leaving Singapore for fear of repression by a “big brother” state. He said: “Not only do I intend never to go into politics, I believe that it would be bad for Singapore if any third-generation Lee went into politics. The country must be bigger than one family.”

Since 2014, the PM has consistently denied that he has no plans for his children to go into politics.