Majority support demolition of LKY’s house

Romesh NavaratnarajahDecember 23, 2015

38 Oxley Road facade

A survey has found that the majority of Singaporeans support former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s wish of having his house at 38 Oxley Road (pictured) demolished, reported The Straits Times.

About 77 percent of the 1,000 people polled online by Hong Kong-based market research firm YouGov indicated that they backed Mr Lee’s wishes. The survey was conducted from 9 to 11 December.

Mr Lee, who died on 23 March 2015, had lived in the pre-war bungalow since the 1940s. In his will, he stated that he wished for the house to be demolished after his death, or should his daughter, Dr Lee Wei Ling, decide to move out.

Among those who supported the wish, 61 percent felt that they should honour his wish, while the rest felt that they should respect his privacy.

However, there have also been calls to preserve the property and convert it into a heritage site or museum.

In fact, 15 percent of respondents want the house retained. Of these, 75 percent want the house to be opened to the public due to its high cultural and historical value, while 25 percent believe the house “belongs to all Singaporeans and they should have a say regarding what happens to the house”.

In a joint statement released on 4 December, Mr Lee’s children – Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling – said they would be honouring their late father’s wishes on the house. There are plans to also donate half of the value of the house to eight charities.

The charitable act has gained the support of respondents, with 61 percent calling it “great”.

On the issue of building a Founders’ Memorial, 56 percent of respondents indicated their support for the idea, while 34 percent felt it was not necessary since there are already existing monuments for such purposes.

 

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg

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