Singapore PM Called "Big Brother Omnipresent" By Siblings Worried About Surveillance State

Lee Hsien Loon, the prime minister of Singapore, has been criticized by his younger brother and sister for running an "omnipresent" country.

The four-page statement written by the siblings states they are "disturbed by the character, conduct, motives and leadership" of the premier and his wife.

The three siblings are children of the late Lee Kuan Yew, who was widely respected by Singapore's citizens and credited with making the city-state successful and one of the wealthiest nations in Asia. He died in 2014 and was succeeded by Lee Hsien Loon.

The statement was released early on Wednesday and remarked that Hsien Yang and his wife planned to leave Singapore.

The statement read: "It is with a very heavy heart that I will leave Singapore for the foreseeable future. This is the country that my father, Lee Kuan Yew, loved and built. It has been home for my entire life. Singapore is and remains my country. I have no desire to leave. Hsien Loong is the only reason for my departure."

The pair criticized changes in Singapore that had been introduced since their father died three years ago. "We believe, unfortunately, that Hsien Loong is driven by a desire for power and personal popularity. We feel extremely sad that we are pushed to this position," they wrote. "We have seen a completely different face to our brother, one that deeply troubles us."

The statement mentioned their discomfort at Singapore being a surveillance state. "We feel hugely uncomfortable and closely monitored in our own country. We do not trust Hsien Loong as a brother or as a leader."

The main thrust of the statement is a petition against hero worship. The siblings insist that their father would have hated adulation of any kind, and that Lee Kuan Yew had asked that his house be bulldozed after his death to avoid it becoming a shrine, but this has not happened.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong responded, and said: "I will do my utmost to continue to do right by my parents. At the same time, I will continue serving Singaporeans honestly and to the best of my ability. In particular that means upholding meritocracy, which is a fundamental value of our society," the Financial Times reported.