Singapore, Feb 5 (IANS) Before deciding on a committee of inquiry (IOC) into the case of Indian-origin minister S. Iswaran, Singapore’s Parliament will wait for the conclusion of the court case against him, the leader of the House, Indranee Rajah. .
Iswaran resigned as transport minister last month after facing 27 felony charges in a corruption probe, which saw him arrested in July 2023 and later released on bail.
In response to a question from a member of parliament, Rajah said: “The purpose of an IOC is to investigate something with the aim of finding out how it happened,” The Straits Times reported.
“In this case, the CPIB (Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau) has investigated the matter. Based on the investigations, the Attorney General’s chambers felt that there is a basis for criminal charges against Iswaran.
“Determining the offenses is a matter for the court, which is currently dealing with the case. We should wait for the court proceedings to conclude before deciding whether to do anything further,” Rajah said.
He added that all those suspected of committing crimes, including MPs, should be given due process.
Arriving in state court on January 18, Iswaran pleaded not guilty to 27 charges: two counts of corruption, 24 counts of obtaining items from someone with whom he had business as a public servant and one count of obstructing the course of justice .
According to court documents, most of the crimes Iswaran faces involve billionaire hotelier Ong Beng Seng, who brought Formula 1 to Singapore in 2008. The charge sheet claims Iswaran received “things of value” for worth more than S$384,000 (US$285,000) from Ong between 2015 and 2022.
These ranged from show tickets, private jet travel, hotel stays, football matches and various editions of the Singapore F1 Grand Prix.
In his statement to the media on January 18, Iswaran said he would return his reduced monthly salary of SG$8,500 per month and the MP allowance he had received since the investigations began in July 2023.
“My family and I have decided to return the money because we cannot in good conscience benefit when I was unable, due to the investigations, to perform my duties as a minister and MP,” he said in a letter. to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Iswaran’s pretrial conference is scheduled for March 1.