“The Istana is the official residence of the President of the Republic of Singapore. ” – Istana website.
On 7 August, the news reported Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s launch of his latest book. It was also reported that the launch was held at the official presidential residence and office – the Istana.
Mr Lee no longer holds any official government position. His last was as Minister Mentor. He is also no longer in Cabinet. So, the obvious question is:
Why was his launch of a supposedly private and personal book held at the Istana?
Or is his book an official government or state publication?
Even former president SR Nathan did not launch his book at the Istana. He did it at the National Library.
The former president will have his book signing at various book stores, including POPULAR:
Mr Nathan launched his first book – “Why am I here?” – at the National University of Singapore. (See here.)
Who paid for the expenses incurred by Mr Lee’s book launch at the Istana? How much were these?
But the more important question is why is the Istana used for a private book launch? What are the criterias on who can use the office of the President for such (personal) events?
Perhaps the government should clarify.