SINGAPORE — Transport Minister S Iswaran is now cooperating with the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) as part of an undisclosed investigation. The bureau has yet to reveal specific details surrounding the case, according to a statement released on Wednesday (12 Jul).
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong further confirmed that the investigation would necessitate interviews with Mr Iswaran, among other individuals.
The Prime Minister was briefed about the case by the CPIB director, Mr Denis Tang, last week, and subsequently provided his approval to proceed with the investigation.
As part of his response, PM Lee said, “I gave Director CPIB my concurrence on Jul 6, following which the formal investigation began on Jul 11.”
The CPIB, an anti-corruption agency under the Prime Minister’s Office, has said that it will proceed with a rigorous examination of the case to ascertain the facts and uphold the rule of law.
In light of the investigation, PM Lee has asked Mr Iswaran to take a temporary leave of absence.
Senior Minister of State Chee Hong Tat will assume the role of Acting Minister for Transport during Mr Iswaran’s leave.
In a statement to local media, the CPIB declared their firm intent to thoroughly probe the matter.
“CPIB acknowledges the interest by members of the public in this case because a minister is being interviewed by CPIB. As investigations are ongoing, CPIB is unable to provide further details.”
The Bureau reiterated Singapore’s stringent anti-corruption policy, stating that it operates with a “strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption”.
The CPIB ensures unbiased investigations into all cases and will not hesitate to act against any parties involved in corrupt activities.
Further updates on the investigation will be shared as they become available.
Portfolio of Mr Iswaran
Iswaran’s political journey began with his election debut in 1997 when he was part of the four-member team of the People’s Action Party (PAP) in the West Coast GRC.
Winning with a vote share of 70.14%, he became a Member of Parliament representing the Pasir Panjang ward. From the 2001 General Election, Iswaran shifted to represent the West Coast ward of the West Coast GRC.
On 1 September 2004, Mr Iswaran was entrusted with the responsibility of Deputy Speaker of Parliament, a role he fulfilled until 19 April 2006. Advancing further in his political career, he was appointed Minister of State at the Ministry of Trade and Industry on 1 July 2006.
After the 2006 General Election, Mr Iswaran progressed up the ranks and was promoted to Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of Trade and Industry on 1 April 2008. A year later, he also assumed the role of Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of Education.
In the wake of the 2011 General Election, Mr Iswaran’s hard work was acknowledged as he ascended to the full ministerial role in the Cabinet. He was appointed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs, and Second Minister for Trade and Industry.
Following the 2015 General Election, Mr Iswaran embarked on a new journey as he gave up his three positions in October 2015 to assume the responsibility of Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), serving alongside Mr Lim Hng Kiang, who held the role of Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade).
On 1 May 2018, Mr Iswaran diversified his portfolio by becoming the Minister for Communications and Information whilst continuing his role as Minister In-Charge of Trade Relations in the Ministry of Trade and Industry (Singapore).
After securing his position in the 2020 General Election, Mr Iswaran held on to his role as Minister in the Ministry of Communications and Information.
Later, following a Cabinet reshuffle on 15 May 2021, Mr Iswaran expanded his role by becoming the Minister for Transport, while still maintaining his appointment as Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations.