In a surprising turn of events, Transport Minister S Iswaran has submitted his resignation from both Parliament and the People’s Action Party (PAP). The announcement, that the transport minister submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, was made by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in a statement released on Thursday, January 18.
According to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, this event happened after the CPIB (Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau) provided Transport Minister S Iswaran with the formal notice of criminal charges filed against him. On Thursday morning, S Iswaran was handed 27 charges in court, to all of which he pleaded not guilty – 24 of receiving a valuable thing as a public servant under the Penal code, two of corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act, and one of obstructing justice. The Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong also said, “He wrote to me to resign as a Cabinet Minister and as a member of the People’s Action Party. He also informed me that he was resigning as Member of Parliament for the West Coast Group Representation Constituency.”
On Wednesday, S Iswaran further informed the prime minister that he would return allowances as MP since the commencement of CPIB’s investigations in July last year and would also return all the monies he had received through his salary. The prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong also asserted that Iswaran would not receive any salary or allowance from the government as he has now resigned.
He expressed that the government had addressed the case rigorously in line with the law and would continue to do so. He affirmed his determination to uphold the integrity of the party and the government, along with their reputation for honesty and incorruptibility, stating that Singaporeans expected nothing less. In a separate statement, the PMO exclaimed that Mr Chee Hong Tat will be appointed as the minister for transport and second minister for finance. He will be promoted to full minister. The arrest of Iswaran took place on July 11 last year, as part of an anti-graft agency investigation.
He was placed on a leave of absence by the Prime Minister during the investigation of the CPIB. On Wednesday, the prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong accepted S Iswaran’s resignation and recognized his decision to return all monies.