Web Stories Wednesday, February 28

Iswaran resigned from his positions in government on Tuesday. He is accused of corruptly receiving more than S$166,000 (US$123,500) worth of flights, hotel stays and tickets to events in exchange for advancing the billionaire’s business interests.

He is separately accused of obtaining about S$218,000 worth of valuable items in his capacity as a minister who also dealt with Mr Ong and his company in his role as chairman of the F1 Steering Committee.

With Iswaran’s departure from PAP and from West Coast GRC, where he was the anchor minister, the remaining Members of Parliament and Minister for National Development Desmond Lee will continue to oversee residents there, said the Deputy Prime Minister. 

“As for the timing of elections … (the) leadership transition happens before the general election. So as and when that happens, we will think about when the elections have to take place thereafter,” said Mr Wong. 

When asked whether the government will tighten the process for political office holders to receive or reject gifts, Mr Wong noted that a code of conduct for ministers is already in place. “The key principles underpinning the code are clear, they are sound, they are valid.” 

For example, ministers should not receive gifts that place them under obligation or in a position of conflict of interest. 

“But I should also say when we look at our system in Singapore, it’s a system where we do our best to try and prevent and deter corruption. It doesn’t mean there will be no corruption,” said Mr Wong. 

Mr Wong, who is also Finance Minister, also acknowledged that there will be many civil servants who are disappointed, shocked and saddened by the case, including those who have worked directly with Iswaran. 

“But I hope the civil servants will also see that what has transpired is the determination of the PAP government to keep our system free from corruption.”

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