Colors: Blue Color

Dr Lee Weiling has dropped another bombshell in yet another Facebook post.

According to her, her brother, Lee Hsien Loong (LHL), had misled her late father, Lee Kuan Yew (LKY), to believe that the house at Oxley Road had been gazetted by the government. Hence, the reason why LHL wanted LKY to bequeath the property to only him. 

LKY was insistent that in spite of the purported gazetting of the house, the house still belonged to him and as such, he was able to state in his will to give the rights to Wei Ling to reside there.

As he had doubts over the gazetting, LKY had, in Nov 2013, discussed with his lawyer, Kwa Kim Li, regarding the posssibility of de-gazetting the house after his death. Wei Ling assereted that contrary to what LHL had claimed, LKY was in fact very aware of the contents of his prior will when he eventually signed his will in Dec 2013.

Wei Ling further explained that after these discussions with his lawyer, LKY felt that the government could reverse the gazetting of the house after his death, to LHL's benefit. This prompted LKY to re-include his wish that the house be demolished after his death, and to allow Wei Ling herself to stay in the house for as long as she wished.

There does not appear to be any quick resolution to this legal wrangling in the Lee family. Singaporeans are becoming increasingly jaded by the saga.

Yet, we must not be totally divorced from the developments because we need to know the character of LHL who runs our country.

For something that will change the political landscape of Singapore and how social media's influence will be diminished especially during events such as the General Election, the Fake News Law, or POFMA to give it it's proper name, has been passed in Parliament afteronluy two days of "rigurous" debate.

The mainstream media has termed the debate as a marathon, as it lasted two full days, and until late on Wednesday evening. But as expected, the law has been passed with all 72 PAP MPs saying yes, 9 WP MPs saying no, and 3 NMPs abstaining from voting. WP Chief Pritam Singh has said the law gave Ministers too much broad powers, which was strongly rebutted by the PAP MPs, all singing from the same hymn, in that Courts could not make a decision on fake news within mere hours. What was implied was that the Ministers can make decision within hours or even minutes if the news is deemed fake. 

The debate ended up being mostly PAP MPs rebutting pointers voiced out by WP, in what was a clear signal that the Bill will be pased in no time. Seeing that the GE is soon upon us, there is a feeling on the ground that Fake News Law will rear its ugly head during this critical period of Singapore. 

Preparations by the PAP for the next elections continue to gather pace. According to PM-in-waiting, Heng Swee Keat, he is working with Chan Chun Sing to prepare for the upcoming GE, including to select candidates.

Heng divulged that PAP has had some "very good" candidates and are looking at candidates from diverse array of backgrounds. For Heng, it was crucial for PAP to represent the diversity that makes up Singapore. 

Does this mean that in the future, we will see more naturalised Singapore citizens among the PAP slate, or as members of the PAP?

Whatever the case may be, the PAP has to realise that the biggest mistake they can make is to parachute a candidate into a constituency at the last minute, without that candidate clocking enough mileage in the constituency. 

Constituents want someone they can depend on to help them with their town council issues. They also want their representative to be able to discuss and debate bills and issues that are concern to them in parliament. More than that, they want personable and humble characters whom they can relate to.

Are the elite PAP candidates as relatable as their opposition counterparts? The answer is the reception from the ground to the candidates.

In light of public debate and interest, the Ministry of Law has come out to defend the the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill (POFMA), stating that the powers of the government, defined under the Bill, is more limited to the powers than the government already posses.


A Senior Council from RPC Premier Law pointed towards the Broadcasting Act as well as other legislation that enables the government to take action against unfavourable online content that are not in the interest of the public. The said Act provides the government with more scope and power to tackle such news, as compared to POFMA. A Law Ministry spokesperson concurred with the opinion that the POFM is a "more measured and calibrated approach" that the government will be adopting.

There remains the question of procedural independence in terms of appeals and legal recourse, as well as defining in more simple yet clearer terms of what constitute a false statement of fact as opposed to an opinion. The Min Law spokesperson referred to the existence of legal theory on the matter to address the concerns.

Therein lies the issue. The average Singaporean are not well versed with, and do not concern ourselves with legal theory.

What we concern ourselves with is that the government serves the interest of the public and that power remains in the hands of the people, and not the political, governing "elite".

If the POFMA is a more nuanced approach, then the government has to explain, and state upfront, and clearly, what these nuances are. There must be no room for confusion over interpretation. 

Only then can Singaporeans feel empowered, and not curtailed, by POFMA.



Noted opposition politician, Ravi Philemon, called on Singaporeans to take back the power that should rightly belong to the people. He urged Singaporeans to prevent the PAP from obtaining a 2/3 majority at the coming parliamentary elections.

Using the no-contest at the recent Presidential elections as an example, Ravi elaborated how PAP, due to its overwhelming majority in the Parliament, was able to push through constitutional reforms that eventually enabled their preferred candidate to become the President. 

The recent anti-fake news bill was also cited as another example of how freedom and civil liberties may inadvertently be curtailed due to uncertainties surrounding the bill.

Hence, Ravi pleaded for Singaporeans to do the right thing to ensure that such instances do not recur in the future.

He is absolutely right. The only way for Singaporeans to have better control of their future is to take back the power that they have left behind in the hands of the PAP.


About 28 local civil society, arts and community groups have signed a joint statement voicing their concerns over the draft Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA). Amongst the noted groups are Maruah, Aware, Function 8, The Online Citizen, Pink Dot and the Humanitarian Organisation for Migrant Economics (HOME).

The draft Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) bill was recently tabled in Parliament. The bill, which aims to provide the government with powers to act against online falsehoods to protect public interest, intends to give ministers the authority to determine what is an online falsehood and what action to take against what they deem to be online falsehoods.

The group highlighted that the bill would grant extensive power to the Government, and they placed their concerns that Ministers are now the all powerful entities who would tell you what is fake news and what is not, and they can even exempt people from this Bill if they should wish. 

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