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Billionaire Ong Beng Seng rumored to assist in high-profile CPIB investigation of transport minister

SINGAPORE — Amid growing speculations, Singapore-based Malaysian billionaire businessman Ong Beng Seng is rumoured to have been asked to assist in a high-profile investigation conducted by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB). The investigation involves Transport Minister S Iswaran.

Mr Ong, founder of Hotel Properties and the driving force behind the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix, has become a key figure in viral messages circulating on private social messaging platforms in Singapore.

The Online Citizen Asia (TOC) reached out to the bureau for clarification but has not yet received a response.

The bureau has been discreet about the case, revealing little about the nature of the investigation.

In a statement released on Wednesday (12 Jul), the CPIB affirmed the investigation into Mr Iswaran but did not disclose any specific details.

Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, has also confirmed that the investigation is in progress. This investigation will require interviews with several individuals, including Mr Iswaran himself.

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.

During this period of scrutiny, PM Lee has asked Mr Iswaran to temporarily step aside from his ministerial duties. Senior Minister of State Chee Hong Tat will assume the role of Acting Minister for Transport in Mr Iswaran’s absence.

Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong assured on Wednesday that the government and the People’s Action Party (PAP) will remain transparent and accountable, even if the information is potentially damaging or embarrassing.

Despite the high-profile nature of the case, the CPIB has maintained its commitment to a rigorous and unbiased investigation.

In a public statement, the bureau reiterated its zero-tolerance policy towards corruption and asserted that it would not hesitate to act against any parties involved in corrupt activities.

Mr Iswaran is set to stay within the country during his leave of absence and pending the closure of the CPIB investigation, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Thursday,

The PMO confirmed that Mr Iswaran will be completely cut off from official resources and will be prohibited from entering any government buildings for the duration of his leave.

Update: Hotel Properties Limited (HPL) announced on Friday that its Managing Director, Mr Ong Beng Seng, has been summoned by CPIB to assist in the investigation into Mr Iswaran. Mr Ong is served with a notice of arrest and placed on a bail of S$100,000.

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