Thursday, June 15, 2017

The confusion regarding 38 Oxley Road

I find the episode quite confusing.

On the one hand, I thought the issue had already been settled, as expressed in this statement. All the three children of Mr. Lee KY had agreed that the house would be torn down and the children would each donate half of the value of the land to charity. The continuing dispute among the siblings over this issue baffles me.

After examining the issue more closely, I am confused with the following:

a) How is the value of the land determined? Does it mean that the family intends to keep the land, after the house is demolished, and the two brothers would each donate 50% of the value of the land to the charities? Does this mean that the donation comes from their personal wealth and not from the sale of the land?

b) If the family keeps the land, who will be the owner? Will it be the estate of Mr. Lee KY? Who will be the ultimate beneficiaries of the land or the estate?

The URA and National Heritage Board have said that the land will not be used for commercial development. Will it be kept as a memorial park? If so, the value of the land would be quite nominal?

I do not understand why this arrangement has to be so convoluted. This is a private property owned by Mr. Lee KY. The property is now passed to the estate. They should be allowed to deal with the property in any way that the family deems fit.

If the government wish to step in and declare the house is to be preserved as a monument, the government would probably have to compensate the estate for taking over the property. There must be other examples of how old buildings are taken over by the government. Surely, the same process and precedents can be followed?

Mr. Lee KY had expressed a wish, in his will, that the house should be demolished at some time in the future. Surely, there is no need to obstruct his last wish?

If there is a need to create a memorial for Mr Lee KY, there are ways of doing it, without going against his wish that is stated so clearly in his will.

This is really quite confusing. No wonder, the siblings are quarelling over the arrangement.


Dan Yong said...

When a simple matter is made complicated, there is obviously an agenda by someone somewhere. Either that or they are all too smart for their own good and prone to self-defeating self destructing actions.

Spur said...

1. Since grant of probate already obtained in Oct 2015, all the assets of LKY vests with the 3 children in equal portions, as expressed in his will.

2. Hence 38 Oxley Road should be held by the 3 children under tenancy-in-common, in equal shares.

3. The 50% donation to charity from 38 Oxley Rd was a condition by LKY & also stipulated in his will.

4. Now the 2 younger children alleged the older bro obstructing the confirmed demolition of 38 Oxley Rd by allowing Ministerial Committee to go ahead to make decisions that may override the will.

5. Older bro countered by alleging that the will was done under "disturbing circumstances".

More soap opera for singaporeans!!

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