PAP will stand firm in its zero-tolerance approach towards corruption 


When the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) came across evidence implicating a cabinet minister, they did what we expected the system to do. In what is a testament that ‘ownself check ownself’ is more than a slogan that seeks to mock the establishment, CPIB opened an investigation into the matter, treating Mr Iswaran as they would anybody else under similar circumstances.  

Subsequently, CPIB issued a press release, and it was also from this point onwards that information involving Mr Iswaran became the prerogative of the CPIB – the architect of the case and an independent entity over which the PAP ceases to have any control. Once again, this separation of power is indicative that our system is working as it should.  

So while speculations are rife why the term ‘arrested’ was not used in relation to Iswaran at the start, the reality is – it would have been foolhardy for the Party to do so before CPIB made that announcement public on Friday evening (July 14).  

As Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Lawrence Wong said to the media on Wednesday (July 12), “We will not sweep anything under the carpet, even if they are potentially embarrassing or damaging to the PAP and to the government.”  

With this resolve to stay open and upfront, several PAP MPs such as Dr Tan Wu Meng (Jurong GRC), Mr Yip Hon Weng (Yio Chu Kang SMC), Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim (Chua Chu Kang GRC) and Mr Don Wee (Chua Chu Kang GRC) have since filed questions for the next Parliament sitting in August. 

MP Tan: What is the investigation timeline, reasons behind the probe and a vaguely worded media release?   

In a Facebook post, MP Tan shared that he will be asking for the timeline of CPIB’s uncovering of the matter and why formal investigations started five days after the Prime Minister gave his go-ahead for it to proceed.  

In addition, MP Tan will also question why CPIB (in an earlier press release on July 12) had described Minister Iswaran as ‘assisting with an investigation’ instead of mentioning his arrest, which had occurred the day before. And as for the arrest, is it related to actions taken during official duties or to matters Iswaran has purview over as a minister? 

MP Yip: What are the whistleblowing channels available in our ministries?  

Only by maintaining a tough stance towards corruption can we continue to engender trust and confidence in the Singapore system, shared MP Yip.  

For this reason, MP Yip wants to know what avenues are available in ministries for whistleblowing on possible corruption cases. He will also question how many cases CPIB has investigated from such whistleblowing channels. 

MP Zhulkarnain: Will there be a review of the Ministerial Code? 

Considering how the Code of Conduct for Ministers, last re-issued in 2005, sets out the rules and standards Ministers should discharge their duties, calling for a review in light of the CPIB investigations on Minister Iswaran is timely to prevent future ambiguities.   

As such, MP Zhulkarnain will call for further clarifications and a possible review of the Ministerial code. 

MP Wee: Why has Iswaran been placed on leave? 

Recognising that many Singaporeans are concerned about how this current investigation differs from the one on Ridout properties, MP Wee will be questioning why Minister Shanmugam and Minister Vivian are able to continue with their duties whereas Minister Iswaran is placed on a leave of absence during investigations. 

Upholding a clean and incorrupt system of government is a hallmark of the PAP, not just for the next election but for many generations to come. For that reason, you can trust our MPs to ask the hard questions and push for answers Singaporeans are looking for. 

Photo Source: Singapore Parliament/PAP