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    Apr 12, 2016

    PM's wife sorry for posting photo of monkey

    PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong's wife, Ho Ching, took to Facebook yesterday and offered her "embarrassed apologies" for a post on Sunday which had the social media world buzzing.

    The post was a photo of a Japanese macaque at the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park making a rude hand gesture.

    It came amid public criticisms by PM Lee's sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, about how their father Lee Kuan Yew's first year death anniversary had been commemorated.

    Describing herself as a "Twitter newbie", Mrs Lee said in yesterday's Facebook post that she had been playing around with Twitter "trying out different buttons, seeing what can or cannot be done".

    Twitter allows its users to share content on to Facebook.

    Added Mrs Lee: "Discovered Twitter reposts pictures without captions, and unfortunately one of the pictures could be misunderstood on its own. Took down as soon as a friend alerted me."

    Not long after Mrs Lee's post of the picture went up, Dr Lee posted on her Facebook some e-mail correspondence between her and a Straits Times editor over a column she wrote about the commemoration of the first death anniversary of her father, and which the paper did not publish.

    Mr Lee Kuan Yew died on March 23 last year, aged 91.

    In the e-mail exchanges, Dr Lee said she was "at odds on a matter of principle" with her brother, PM Lee.

    She said he had no qualms abusing his power to have a commemoration just a year after the death and that PM Lee wanted to "establish a dynasty". She also called him a "dishonourable son".

    PM Lee posted on Facebook later in the day on Sunday to say he was "deeply saddened" by his sister's charge and that the accusations were untrue.

    In her Facebook post yesterday, Mrs Lee said: "There are enough troubles in the world. Far from adding oil to fires, I would prefer we try to solve and resolve problems, among friends, within families and between neighbours."

    Without referring to the disagreement in the family, she added: "We grieve in different ways, and should leave space for each of us to come to terms with our loss. Grieving is especially hard when tears come at unexpected moments.

    "I respect and deeply appreciate the many heartfelt commemorations, and understand those who prefer a more stoic approach. Hopefully, the passage of time will help heal."

    Additional reporting by Pearl Lee