(Left to right) Li Hao Yi, Li Shengwu, Lee Hsien Loong, Ho Ching and Li Hong Yi

According to an interview with Hongkong media The Initium on 5 Dec, the self-exiled nephew of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that Singapore should not have another relative of his grandfather Lee Kuan Yew in power. Li Shengwu said Singapore should rely on a system-based government, and reject nepotism:

“I believe Singaporeans should not always mention Lee Kuan Yew because the political system should be bigger than the man. I will not join politics or an Opposition party because Singapore no longer needs another Lee-surname leader, whichever the political party. This is like US; people reject Hillary even though she is more capable than Trump, because US should no longer have another President from the Clinton family.” (Interview was conducted in Mandarin, translation by STR)

Li Shengwu also revealed that his cousin Li Hongyi, son of PM Lee Hsien Loong, have never expressed his wish not to join politics and that Li Hongyi has been ambiguous:

“Li Hongyi is being “ambiguous”, he only said he has “no interest” but 20 years ago his father Lee Hsien Loong said the same thing. This kind of statement can be easily retracted. For myself, I will never join politics. I know I will never be one because a politician needs to lie, and I will not lie even if it is for my belief. I want to be a top grade economist and Maths is my second language, this is where my passion is.”

When questioned about his relationship with Li Hongyi, Li Shengwu said they used to be very close but they no longer speak to each other anymore.

“He is still on my Facebook friends’ list, I did not unfriend him.”

Li Shengwu is currently facing a lengthy jail term for contempt of court charges filed by the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC). The Attorney General, Lucien Wong, who was Lee Hsien Loong’s former private lawyer, received a screenshot from one of LI Shengwu’s Facebook friends, of a private Facebook post criticising the Singapore judiciary as “pliant”.

Li Shengwu commented on his  contempt of court charges saying that he has nothing to apologise for because he did nothing wrong. When asked by the reporter why did he not apologise to avoid the charges, Li Shengwu hinted that the AGC actions is clearly a political persecution on the Prime Minister’s behalf:

“I am unable to apologise when I did nothing criminal. If there is a grey area, I will just make clarifications. But this matter is clearly straight-forward, so I will just leave it to the lawyers to handle.”