Singapore PM's brother to leave top aviation post

FILE PHOTO: Lee Hsien Yang, son of former leader Lee Kuan Yew, delivers his eulogy during the funeral service at the University Cultural Centre at the National University of Singapore March 29, 2015. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The younger brother of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will relinquish his post as head of the country's civil aviation authority, the transport ministry said on Thursday.

Lee Hsien Yang, chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) since 2009, has been in a public dispute with his brother since last year over the fate of their late father's house. The case has gripped Singapore, a country widely known for its political stability.

Lee Hsien Yang, reached by telephone, declined to comment about the ministry's announcement.

Edmund Cheng, who has served as CAAS deputy chairman, will become chairman effective July 1, the ministry said in a statement.

"The Ministry of Transport would like to put on record its appreciation to Mr Lee Hsien Yang for his many years of dedicated and distinguished service to the CAAS," the ministry said. "Mr Cheng will take over Mr Lee Hsien Yang, who will relinquish his post as Chairman of CAAS on 30 June 2018 after helming the post for nine years."

The ministry, when asked about circumstances surrounding Lee's departure, told Reuters it had no further comment beyond its statement.

Lee Hsien Yang and his sister in June last year said their prime minister brother had acted inappropriately by appointing a ministerial panel to discuss the future of the property lived in by their father Lee Kuan Yew, modern Singapore's founding leader.

The prime minister last year questioned whether his father, who died in 2015, really wanted the home demolished as stated in his will. The panel in April declared a future government should determine the property's fate.

The siblings said at the time the declaration did not accurately reflect the late leader's wishes.

(Reporting by Jack Kim and Fathin UngkuEditing by Christopher Cushing)