SINGAPORE: S Iswaran has resigned as Transport Minister and a member of the People’s Action Party (PAP).
On Thursday (Jan 18), he was charged with 27 offences – two of corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act, one of obstructing justice and 24 of obtaining a valuable thing as a public servant.
After being given formal notice of the charges on Tuesday, Iswaran wrote to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to resign as a minister and a PAP member. He has also resigned as a Member of Parliament.
This is the exchange of letters between Mr Lee and Iswaran:
Iswaran’s letter to Mr Lee on Jan 16:
Dear Prime Minister
I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign as Cabinet Minister, as Member of Parliament for the West Coast Group Representative Constituency, and as a member of the People’s Action Party with immediate effect.
Yesterday, the CPIB charged me with various offences. I reject the allegations in the charges and will now focus on clearing my name.
Given the circumstances, I feel it is right for me to resign from Cabinet, as a Member of Parliament and as a member of the PAP.
Thank you for the privilege and honour of serving my constituents and the people of Singapore.
Iswaran’s letter to Mr Lee on Jan 17:
Dear Prime Minister
I refer to my letter of resignation dated Jan 16, 2024.
Further to that letter, I am writing to inform you that although I have not been asked to do so, I will be returning all monies that I received by way of salary as minister and allowances as Member of Parliament from the commencement of the CPIB’s investigations in July 2023.
I am doing this even though I reject the charges and am innocent. My family and I have decided to return the monies because we cannot in all good conscience benefit from them when I was unable, on account of the investigations, to discharge my duties as a minister and Member of Parliament.
This is also the right thing to do for Singapore and is in keeping with the government’s high standards of integrity.
So that there is no doubt, I will not be seeking the return of these monies if, as I strongly believe, I am acquitted.
Mr Lee’s reply to Iswaran on Jan 17:
Mr S Iswaran
I have received your letter of resignation dated Jan 16, 2024. I accept your resignation as a Cabinet minister and as a member of the People’s Action Party. I note that you have also resigned as a Member of Parliament for West Coast GRC.
I have also received your subsequent letter dated Jan 17, 2024. I acknowledge your decision to return all monies received by way of salary as minister and allowances as MP from the commencement of the CPIB’s investigations in July 2023.
I am disappointed and saddened that you are leaving politics in these circumstances. But it is essential that I deal with such matters rigorously in accordance with the law. It is the right thing to do. We must uphold the integrity of the party and the government. I am sure you understand the importance of doing so. Singaporeans expect no less.