Web Stories Thursday, February 29

SINGAPORE — Former Transport Minister S Iswaran was handed an array of charges on Thursday (Jan 18), the bulk of which was for receiving items worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from billionaire hotelier Ong Beng Seng. 

Charge sheets state that Iswaran received “valuable things” worth more than S$384,000 from Ong between 2015 and 2022. These ranged from tickets to shows, football matches and various editions of the Singapore F1 Grand Prix.

He also allegedly received a paid-for trip to Doha in exchange for advancing the business interests of Ong.

Here are all the things Iswaran allegedly obtained in his capacity as a minister and as chairman of the F1 steering committee. 

1. TICKETS TO SHOWS

Iswaran, 61, is said to have received 40 tickets to 13 plays or musicals in the UK between 2015 and 2021.

The shows were Thriller; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; Book of Mormon; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Part 1; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Part 2; Kinky Boots; The Play That Goes Wrong; School of Rock; Hamilton; Waitress; Betrayal; Back to the Future and &Juliet.

The tickets were said to be worth S$10,693.

2. TICKETS TO FOOTBALL MATCHES

At least five of the charges relate to football matches between 2015 and 2018. The 16 tickets that Iswaran allegedly received were said to be worth S$5,646.

The matches were West Ham United FC v Everton FC (Boleyn Ground); Arsenal FC v Tottenham Hotspur FC (Emirates); Chelsea FC v Southampton FC (Stamford Bridge);  Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC (Emirates) and Chelsea FC v Manchester City FC (Stamford Bridge). 

3. TICKETS TO SINGAPORE F1 GRAND PRIX

Iswaran allegedly received 36 Green Room tickets, 5 Boardwalk tickets, 14 Twenty3 tickets and 61 general admission tickets to the different editions of Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix between 2016 and 2022.

Twenty3 tickets provide premium access, with panoramic views of the finish line, along with access to specialty bars, lounges and entertainment.

Green Room tickets provide access to an air-conditioned suite that has prime views of the race track, with food and drinks provided while Boardwalk tickets allow access to a glass-encased extension beside the race track.

General admission tickets are the cheapest tickets with which guests can access the open area around the race circuit.

The tickets were worth S$347,152 in total. 

4. PRIVATE PLANE RIDE, HOTEL STAY AND BUSINESS CLASS FLIGHT

In December 2022, Iswaran allegedly received gratification from Ong involving a trip to Doha. Ong is the man behind Singapore GP, which brought the Formula 1 Grand Prix to Singapore in 2008.

Iswaran is said to have taken a flight on Ong’s private plane from Singapore to Doha worth S$10,410.40. 

He also allegedly received one night’s stay in Four Seasons Doha, worth S$4,737.63, and a business class flight from Doha to Singapore worth S$5,700. Both were through Ong’s company, Singapore GP.

These were allegedly in exchange for advancing Ong’s business interests in a facilitation agreement between Singapore GP and the Singapore Tourism Board, and in a proposal for a contract with the tourism board to establish the ABBA Voyage virtual concert — by pop group ABBA — in Singapore. CNA

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