A Follow-up To ‘Trouble In Paradise’: The Ultimate In Resolution
Ten Reasons For Resolving An Oxley Impasse By Means Of National Polling
[ For a fulsome intro to this follow-up piece, go to the lead-in article ‘Trouble In Little Red Dot Paradise’ @ https://lester978.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/trouble-in-little-red-dot-paradise-showdown-at-38-oxley-omphalos/ ]
Featured here is a compendium of ten in-your-face arguments in favor of a national poll to effect a swift and decisive resolution to the 38 Oxley standoff between the Lee siblings. Such a proposition is predicated on the assumption that all private, ameliorative efforts in earnest had collapsed, with the disputants gearing up next for what would otherwise be a battle royal in court. Kindly note the list below is not numbered in any particular order of significance.
1. A nationally polled consensus (hereinafter NPC) is the most DIGNIFIED way out of an Oxley impasse for all parties concerned, incurring the least attendant emotional costs — that’s an axiomatic fact, the sooner recognized the better.
2. An NPC is the lesser of bitter pills available publicly for the Lee siblings should all else founder in private; it’s in fact a win-win for both feuding parties regardless of the poll’s outcome. The alternative would be an internecine, protracted legal warfare resulting in wholesale ruination of what’s left of the tenuous thread of familial bond binding the siblings.
3. Any court-induced winning verdict in an Oxley showdown would be tantamount to a Pyrrhic victory because it would irreparably fracture forever the sibling relations within the Premiere Family.
4. An NPC if effected would be the ultimate exercise in transparency on the part of the government; an exercise that would be deemed fair and equitable to the parties concerned in bringing resolution to a highly emotive issue of historical significance to the nation.
5. An NPC if held would be a positive reflection of the leadership reposing trust in its people in getting the Premiere Family siblings out of an irreconcilable bind. While blood is indeed thicker than water, the love of country favors a commonsensical NPC to resolving a national dilemma.
6. An NPC would expeditiously help PM Lee Hsien Loong put the kibosh on his fruitless search since at least 2010 for an answer to the disposition of 38 Oxley. But equally importantly, it would also put an end to any suspicion of his siblings regarding the PM going behind their back to ‘gazette’ the said property by decree, all within the perfectly legitimate means of the government.
7. By the same token, the younger siblings Dr. Wei Ling and Hsien Yang should find an NPC poised in their favor based on a sampling in late 2015 by YouGov (a UK-originated website) that showed 77% out of 1000 Singaporeans surveyed then were in favor of demolition in keeping with ex-PM Lee Kuan Yew’s (LKY’s) last known wishes. By contrast, the prognosis of outcome in court litigation/mediation of the Oxley dispute would be a gloomy one for the younger siblings by virtue of the inherent vulnerabilities pertaining to their case.
8. LKY himself had unwittingly created an impossible situation on the fate of Oxley for his children (and the country) — an NPC would swiftly afford a remedy one way or another. Quoting LKY, ‘If our children are unable to demolish the House as a result of any changes in the law, rules or regulations binding them, it is my wish that the House never be opened to others except my children, their families and descendants…’; end quote. That is an oxymoronic statement that cannot be reconciled on its own. I.e., while LKY did recognize 38 Oxley could very well be subsumed under the national register of heritage properties, he nonetheless would prefer family-member only access to the Oxley locale in perpetuity; but that on the face of it would defeat the point of turning private entities into public heritage sites of commemoration.
9. An NPC would give total clarity to the issue of ‘cult- / hero-worship’ — whether the preservation of the Oxley home would be deemed as such by Singaporeans at large; LKY was evidently personally averse to the idea of self-immortalization by statuary, with his now delightfully noted but somewhat tongue-in-cheek ‘Ozymandias’ reference. [For those who are new, the odd-sounding Greek-name metaphor here is in reference to LKY’s allusion to a poem that scoffs at the fleetingness of fame and power all too eager to be immortalized in sculpture only to be made equal in dust over time as exemplified by the fallen and broken statue of Pharaoh Ramses.]
10. In all likelihood, LKY would personally approve of an NPC in the present circumstance as he would be all too pleased to see an end to the embitterment engulfing his children over the Oxley dispute. The unintended consequences created by the Oxley hubbub have overwhelmed the nation; not a moment too soon to enable an NPC to put a finality to it.