World Bulletin / News Desk
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong apologised to Singaporeans on Monday for a bitter family feud over his late father's legacy, saying it had damaged the country's reputation.
Lee and two younger children of revered founding leader Lee Kuan Yew have been attacking each other on Facebook and international media for days as a dispute over the patriarch's estate became public, a spectacle that has shocked Singaporeans.
"I deeply regret that this dispute has affected Singapore’s reputation and Singaporeans’ confidence in the government," Lee said in a statement he read in a pre-taped video aired by national broadcaster Mediacorp.
"And as the eldest of the siblings, it grieves me to think of the anguish that this would have caused our parents if they were still alive."
The Lees are the closest thing Singapore has to royalty, dominating the now wealthy island's politics for nearly six decades.
The patriarch served as prime minister from 1959 to 1990, and the current leader has been in power since 2004.
The city-state has had only one other prime minister, Goh Chok Tong.
The siblings' row largely centres around a clause in Lee's final will which stated that the old family home should be demolished after his death.
His daughter Wei Ling and younger son Hsien Yang say the current prime minister is attempting to block demolition to exploit their father's legacy for his own purposes, including grooming his own son to be a third-generation leader.
"Much as I would like to move on, and end a most unhappy experience for Singaporeans, these baseless accusations against the government cannot be left unanswered," the premier said.
Lee said he would make a statement on the matter when parliament sits again in July.
Lee Kuan Yew, a Cambridge-trained lawyer, died at the age of 91 in March 2015, triggering an outpouring of grief across the city-state which he transformed into one of the world's richest societies while muzzling the media and quelling dissent.
Political opponents and dissidents have been hit with financially ruinous defamation lawsuits.
The family row, played out on social media, has riveted the tightly controlled nation, whose citizens are unused to open disagreement among the political elite.
Agriculture Ministry confirms dozens of farms used illegal insecticides
Ministry of Interior directs all security units to be extra vigilant on 99th Independence Day
Several others also sustained injuries in ‘unidentified explosion’ at inter-Korean border
Residents of the eastern city of Hangzhou -- home to e-commerce giant Alibaba -- can now register their internet-related civil complaints online and wait to log onto to their trial via videochat.
Each of the dead men has a number in Roman numerals drawn in black pen above their bare feet to help the morticians keep track of the bodies that churn through each night. One of them is marked VI.
Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah is the first Tamil to head a wing of the military since 1970, even though Tamils make up around 15 percent of Sri Lanka's population.
South Korea's President Moon Jae-In moved to reassure his citizens that Seoul has an effective veto on US military action, after weeks of sabre-rattling from both US President Donald Trump and the North's Kim Jong-Un.
Most of the victims are children, an official from Department of Disaster Management says
South Korean leader Moon Jae-in says Pyongyang’s nuclear threat must be resolved by peaceful means
Operation against ISIL in eastern Afghanistan injures several soldiers
President Joko Widodo asks nation to fight terrorism, drugs and illegal fishing
International human rights watch claims Duterte has unleashed a human rights calamity
In one of the deadliest operations of the war, police reported killing 32 people in raids on Monday on suspected drug traffickers in Bulacan province, which neighbours the capital of Manila.
Duterte has waged an unprecedented crackdown on drugs during his 14 months in power that has seen police and suspected vigilantes kill thousands of people, leading to warnings by rights groups that he may be overseeing a crime against humanity.
The drill, part of a 19-day exercise, came after a tense war of words between the United States and North Korea over Pyongyang's threats to fire missiles towards the Pacific island of Guam.
The allegations against the prime minister spiralled from the Panama Papers leak last year, which sparked a media frenzy over the lavish lifestyles and luxury London property portfolio of the Sharif dynasty.