Former Singapore Transport Minister Faces Eight New Charges in Corruption Case

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S Iswaran has been accused of receiving gifts worth $14,000 from an individual with business dealings with the Transport Ministry, resulting in eight new charges in a corruption case involving Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party. The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau stated that Iswaran allegedly received valuable goods totaling 18,956 Singapore dollars. The gifts reportedly included whisky, golf clubs, and a Brompton bicycle.

The charges against Iswaran came after he was previously charged with 27 corruption offenses in January, mainly related to gifts received from Malaysian billionaire Ong Beng Seng. Ong is said to have given Iswaran tickets to shows and football matches in exchange for advancing his business interests, including bringing the Singapore Grand Prix to the city-state while Iswaran was in government.

Iswaran, who has since resigned from his position as an MP and the PAP, has denied the charges and vowed to clear his name. Corruption cases are uncommon in Singapore due to its strict laws and enforcement. The country was ranked as the fifth-least corrupt country in the 2023 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index.

This case involving Iswaran is the first corruption probe of a minister since 1986, when Minister for National Development Teh Cheang Wan was accused of accepting bribes from businesses. Teh passed away before charges could be brought against him.

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