Probe on Iswaran has ‘big impact’ on West Coast GRC, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Probe on Iswaran has ‘big impact’ on West Coast GRC

The corruption probe into Transport Minister S. Iswaran is a “very worrying development” and has had a big impact on West Coast GRC, said National Development Minister Desmond Lee.

Even so, MPs in the group representation constituency are working to engage residents and tackle pressing issues such as cost of living and inequality, he said in an interview with The Straits Times and Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao.

“Since (the news broke) in July, we have been able to hold the team together, energise them to continue serving the ground with passion and dedication,” said Mr Lee, who oversees the Boon Lay ward in West Coast GRC.

Mr Iswaran, who is in charge of the West Coast ward in the GRC, was arrested by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) on July 11, 2023, and is out on bail.

The probe stems from an earlier unrelated investigation on a separate matter. However, further details about what Mr Iswaran is being investigated for have not been released.

He has been placed on leave of absence and had his monthly pay reduced to $8,500 until further notice, though he continues to draw his MP allowance.

Asked if the incident is still casting a shadow on his GRC, Mr Lee said the incident “has had an impact, is a big impact”. He did not elaborate on this.

“But that has not distracted us from the important mission of continuing to serve our residents and ensuring that there is no disruptive trend to service continuity, that there are people that residents will continue to look for assistance,” he added.

When contacted, CPIB declined to provide an update on the investigation.

Commenting on the country’s upcoming leadership handover, Mr Lee said: “I personally look at this transition as something that is good for Singapore. It is important for there to be leadership renewal, but (I’m) assured and confident that it will be a continuum rather than a disruption and reformation.”

Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong is expected to take over the reins from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong by the People’s Action Party’s 70th birthday in November. He will lead the ruling party in the next general election, which has to be held by November 2025.