Founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s children earlier this month made clear their intentions to eventually demolish his house at 38 Oxley Road, and judging by an online poll, most Singaporeans are none too sentimental about it either.
A survey of 1,000 Singaporeans by YouGov, a UK-based portal for news and opinions, found that the majority of respondents (77 per cent) support Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his siblings’ decision, while a fraction do not. Mr Lee Kuan Yew passed away on Mar 23 this year.
Among those supportive of the decision, 61 per cent feel they should honour the late Mr Lee and his family’s wishes, while 39 per cent feel they should respect the family’s privacy, according to the survey.
Of the 15 per cent who do not agree with the decision, the majority say it is because they think the house has high historical and cultural value, and that the family should open the house to public visits, while 25 per cent think that the house “belongs to all Singaporeans” and they should have a say in what happens to it.
The YouGov poll was conducted from Dec 9 to 11, after PM Lee and his brother Lee Hsien Yang announced on Dec 4 that they would each donate half the value of the house to eight charities named in their late father’s obituary notice.
Respondents also supported this donation move, with 61 per cent saying it is “great” that they are doing this, although 17 per cent of respondents feel that all proceeds should be donated to charity.
The brothers and their sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, have said that they hope the state would honour their late father’s wishes regarding the house.
The survey also asked respondents about the idea of having a memorial for Singapore’s founding fathers, which is currently being explored by a committee formed by the Government.
It was found that 56 per cent of Singaporeans want such a memorial, while 34 per cent feel that it is not necessary.