Singapore PM's nephew says attorney-general's letter accuses him of contempt of court

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 04, 2017 9:31 AM

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The nephew of Singapore's prime minister said on Friday he was sent a letter by the city-state's attorney general that described comments he made on his Facebook account about the "litigious" nature of the government as being contempt of court.

The accusation is the latest twist in a family feud over the fate of late Singapore founding father Lee Kwan Yew's house that gripped the nation last month.

Li Shengwu, nephew of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and a son of Lee's brother, Lee Hsien Yang, said on Facebook that he had amended a post originally made on July 15 to clarify any misunderstandings. However, he said he did not believe the post was in contempt of court.

The Attorney General Chambers has not released a copy of the letter and did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

Li's July 15 post was shared on a privacy setting that can only be viewed by his Facebook friends. He said on Friday the intent of that post was to convey the "international media were restricted in their ability to report" on a recent feud between Prime Minister Lee and his siblings "due to the litigious nature" of the government.

"It is not my intent to attack the Singapore judiciary or to undermine public confidence in the administration of justice," he said on Friday.

The public spat between the Lee siblings, children of Lee Kuan Yew, flared in June over the future of the family home and raised questions about governance in the city-state.

Lee Hsien Yang and sister Lee Wei Ling accused their elder brother of abusing his powers, prompting the prime minister to call an extraordinary special sitting of parliament in July to "clear the air" over an issue that some people say has tarnished Singapore's image.

(Reporting by Sam Holmes)