SINGAPORE: Transport Minister S Iswaran has resigned from parliament and the People’s Action Party (PAP).
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement on Thursday (Jan 18) that Iswaran submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday.
This was after the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) gave Iswaran formal notice of the criminal charges filed against him.
PMO added that Mr Chee Hong Tat will be promoted to full minister and appointed as Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance.
Ms Grace Fu, who is Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, will concurrently assume responsibility as Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations.
Iswaran was handed 27 charges in court on Thursday morning. He pleaded not guilty to all charges – two of corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act, one of obstructing justice and 24 of receiving a valuable thing as a public servant under the Penal Code.
Iswaran was arrested on Jul 11 last year as part of an investigation by the anti-graft agency.
The 61-year-old has been Minister for Transport since May 2021. His political career spans 26 years since he was first elected in 1997 as a Member of Parliament for West Coast GRC.
Before he was appointed to the Cabinet in 2006, he served on several government parliamentary committees and was the Deputy Speaker of Parliament from September 2004 to June 2006.
The Prime Minister had placed Iswaran on a leave of absence during the CPIB investigation. Parliament agreed last September to consider suspending him as an MP when investigations conclude.
Mr Lee released a separate statement on Thursday regarding Iswaran’s resignation. Here it is in full:
1. The Public Prosecutor has filed criminal charges against Mr Iswaran in Court today.
2. On 16 January 2024, after the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau had given Mr Iswaran formal notice of the charges, he wrote to me to resign as a Cabinet Minister and as a member of the People’s Action Party (PAP). He also informed me that he was resigning as Member of Parliament for the
West Coast Group Representation Constituency.
3. On 17 January 2024, Mr Iswaran further informed me that he would 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. Since Mr Iswaran has now resigned, he will henceforth no longer receive any salary or allowance from the Government.
4. I replied to Mr Iswaran on 17 January 2024 to accept his resignations and acknowledge his decision to return the monies. The exchange of letters is attached.
5. The Government has dealt with this case rigorously in accordance with the law, and will continue to do so. I am determined to uphold the integrity of the Party and the Government, and our reputation for honesty and incorruptibility. Singaporeans expect no less.