×

Singapore prime minister on criticism from siblings: 'I'm not sure' if feud is solved

  • Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the public criticism from his siblings in a Thursday interview with CNBC
  • "I'm not sure that it is solved," was Lee's short response to a question on whether the dispute among members of the first family had ended
  • The prime minister said he is "of course" sad about the incident and that he has not communicated with his brother and sister recently

Four months since the start of a public dispute between Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his siblings, the leader of the Southeast Asian island nation said he is not sure whether the matter has been solved.

Lee's two younger siblings, neurologist Lee Wei Ling and businessman Lee Hsien Yang, shocked the country with a public statement accusing the prime minister of abusing power and exploiting their father's legacy for political gains.

The three are children of the country's founding and longest-serving prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away in 2015.

The rare public feud among the siblings over the fate of their late father's home led to the prime minister calling for a special sitting of parliament to defend the integrity of his government.

"I'm not sure that it is solved," was Lee's short response to CNBC's question on whether the dispute among members of the first family is over.

Lee gave long answers to topics ranging from North Korea to domestic leadership succession, but he took on an emotional tone and kept his responses short when CNBC brought up his siblings.

He admitted that he is "of course" sad about the incident and that he has not communicated with his brother and sister recently.

"I think they are where they are. Perhaps one day when emotions have subsided, some movements will be possible. These things take time," said the 65-year-old, who has been prime minister since 2004.

Here's the full transcript of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's interview with CNBC.