Singapore’s Former Transport Minister Handed 35 Graft Charges

Singapore’s former Transport Minister S. Iswaran was handed eight more charges taking the grand total to 35 charges today.

The additional charges involved allegations of obtaining valuable items worth about SGD18,956 (RM66,582.50), in the capacity of a minister from an individual who had dealings with the Ministry, said the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

According to the charge sheet, the items included bottles of whiskey, golf clubs and a Brompton bicycle worth SGD$7,907.50 (RM27,784).

The business transaction involved a contract between Lum Chang Building Contractors (Lum Chang) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA), for the addition and renovation of Tanah Merah Station and the existing viaduct.

The firm had also secured multi-billion dollar civil, building and infrastructure projects in Singapore including being the prime contractor for the Bukit Panjang station along the Downtown Line.

The case has gripped Singapore, as a major Asian financial hub that prides itself on a squeaky-clean government rarely involving corruption.

Iswaran, 61, denies the charges according to local media reports.

He was initially arrested in July last year and alleged to have obtained kickbacks worth S$384,340 (RM1,349,813.96) from property tycoon Ong Beng Seng, partly to advance Ong’s business interests.

Charge sheets show the favours included tickets to football matches, musicals, a flight on Ong’s private plane and tickets to the Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix. Iswaran was advisor to the Grand Prix’s steering committee, while Ong owns the rights to the race.

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