The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) notes that the CPIB investigation into Mr S Iswaran has concluded with the Public Prosecutor filing 27 charges against him. We have been following this matter closely with much concern as corruption must not be tolerated.
In September 2023, our NCMP Hazel Poa filed a motion in Parliament to seek to suspend the payment of MP allowance to then Minister Iswaran pending the completion of the investigations, and to refund the allowance should he be found innocent. During the debate on that motion, PMO has indicated that they would consider ways to clawback the allowance after the conclusion of the investigations. More recently, she filed a Parliamentary Question during the sitting on 9 January 2024 to ask the Prime Minister if he could provide an update on the investigation.
It remains the PSP’s stance that an MP or minister who is under investigation for corruption and suspended from official duties should be put on no pay leave until the investigation or criminal case is concluded. If the MP or minister subsequently resumes their official duties after being cleared by the investigation or criminal case, they should be entitled to full back-pay for the period during which they were on leave of absence.
We applaud Mr Iswaran for voluntarily returning the ministerial salary and MP allowances that he received while he was under investigation. However, we do not feel this should be a decision to be left to party discipline nor the individual concerned to return the money to government. Good governance should be ensured via strong institutional processes. There ought to be proper rules and a system governing such situations.
We will continue to monitor the progress closely, and wait for due process to be completed before commenting further if necessary.
Leong Mun Wai
Progress Singapore Party