Should the house of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew be demolished, the government will not allow the site to be redeveloped in a way that would diminish its historical significance, revealed the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and National Heritage Board (NHB) in a joint statement and reported in the media.
Prior to his passing on 23 March, Mr Lee had clearly stated in his will that he wanted his house to be demolished after his death or after his daughter, Dr Lee Wei Ling, had moved out.
On 13 April, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in Parliament: “Speaking as his son, I would like to see these wishes carried out. However, it will be up to the Government of the day to consider the matter.”
In response to a newspaper commentary which suggested greater public involvement when choosing buildings for preservation and conservation, the two agencies explained that the government would seriously consider Mr Lee’s wishes for the house at 38, Oxley Road.
“The Government will take into consideration very seriously the wishes of the late Mr Lee regarding the future plans for the house and site at a time when a decision has to be made, as regards both,” the statement said.
“In view of the historical significance of the property, if a decision is made to allow for the demolition of the house, the Government is likely to disallow the site to be redeveloped in a way that would diminish its historical significance, for example for commercial or intensive residential development. The area is planned as a low-rise residential precinct and zoned 2-storey mixed landed,” it added.
Image: Inside Lee Kuan Yew’s home. (Photo from Stomp.com.sg)