PM Lee to deliver ministerial statement on CPIB’s Iswaran probe, MP resignations on Wednesday, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

PM Lee to deliver ministerial statement on CPIB’s Iswaran probe, MP resignations on Wednesday

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be delivering a ministerial statement in Parliament on Wednesday, on the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau’s (CPIB) investigation involving Transport Minister S. Iswaran.

He will also address the resignations of former Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin and former People’s Action Party (PAP) MP Cheng Li Hui, as he had previously announced during a mid-July press conference.

PM Lee’s statement on Wednesday will likely tackle the 18 questions posed to him on the CPIB investigation and related matters, according to the order paper released by Parliament on Tuesday.

The questions put forth by MPs cover issues such as the timeline for disclosure if a political office holder has been arrested, as well as whether all CPIB investigations require the Prime Minister’s concurrence.

Dr Tan Wu Meng (Jurong GRC) asked about the timeline of the CPIB’s uncovering of the matter relating to the investigation that Mr Iswaran is assisting with, and what were the reasons for commencing formal investigation on July 11 when PM Lee was briefed by the CPIB director on July 5 and had given his concurrence on July 6 to open a formal investigation.

Workers’ Party MP Louis Chua (Sengkang GRC) and Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai both asked about the circumstances where CPIB is obligated to seek the Prime Minister’s concurrence to open formal investigations on potential offences it uncovers. Mr Chua also asked whether there are occasions where the Prime Minister has declined permission for CPIB to investigate a matter.

Ms Joan Pereira (Tanjong Pagar GRC) asked if the arrest of Mr Iswaran by CPIB was a matter that should have been immediately announced to the public as a matter of transparency.

WP MP Gerald Giam (Aljunied GRC) asked whether the Government adheres to a timeline for disclosing information about a political office holder if the information, which could include their arrest by the police, would be likely to materially affect public confidence in the Government.

CPIB said in a statement on July 12 that Mr Iswaran was assisting with an investigation into a case the agency had uncovered. It later said on July 14 that Mr Iswaran and tycoon Ong Beng Seng had been arrested earlier on July 11 and both men were released on bail.

Separately, Mr Sharael Taha (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) asked the Ministry of Trade and Industry whether the CPIB investigation into Mr Ong, who owns the rights to the Singapore Grand Prix, will have any impact on the ongoing contract for the Republic to host the F1 race here till 2028.

Other parliamentary questions filed cover topics such as the safety of workers when they are being transported, scams related to the purchase and reselling of concert tickets, as well as the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s reported losses for the latest financial year, among others.

Parliament will sit at 11am on Wednesday, beginning with the election of a new Speaker of Parliament. 

PM Lee had said earlier that he intends to nominate Mr Seah Kian Peng (Marine Parade GRC) to the role.

It will be followed by the swearing-in of nine Nominated MPs, after which question time will begin.