Singapore PM's estranged brother joins opposition party as election looms

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The Singapore prime minister’s brother, Lee Hsien Yang, said on Wednesday that he had joined an opposition party competing against his sibling in a July 10 general election but that he was undecided on whether he would run as a candidate.

Lee Hsien Yang, the son of Singapore’s modern-day founder, Lee Kuan Yew, has been embroiled in a bitter dispute with his brother over his late father’s house. He told Reuters he had joined the new Progress Singapore Party (PSP).

Lee has criticised his brother Lee Hsien Loong’s People’s Action Party (PAP), which their father founded and which has governed the city-state since its independence in 1965.

“The PAP has lost its way,” Lee Hsien Yang said in a video posted on PSP’s Facebook page, adding that the current government is “distinctly different” from when his father was prime minister.

“It is possible to be loyal Singaporeans... to love Singapore and yet not vote PAP,” he said.

The PSP is led by Tan Cheng Bock, a former PAP lawmaker who shot to prominence by nearly defeating a candidate backed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the 2011 presidential race.

“We will see,” Lee Hsien Yang told Reuters when asked whether he would stand as a candidate.

The PSP said on Twitter it welcomed Lee Hsien Yang as a member.

“It’s time for change,” it added.

Reporting by Fathin Ungku and John Geddie; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Gerry Doyle, William Maclean