Transport Minister S Iswaran assisting in CPIB investigation, instructed to take leave of absence by PM Lee

SINGAPORE: Transport Minister S Iswaran is assisting the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) with an investigation into a case uncovered by the agency. 

The bureau did not elaborate on the nature of the investigation in its statement on Wednesday (Jul 12). 

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a separate statement that the investigation would require Mr Iswaran, as well as other individuals, to be interviewed by CPIB.

Mr Lee said he was briefed by the director of CPIB last Wednesday regarding a case that the bureau had uncovered. The director sought Mr Lee’s concurrence to open a formal investigation.

Mr Denis Tang is the director of the anti-graft agency, which sits under the Prime Minister’s Office.

“I gave Director CPIB my concurrence on Jul 6, following which the formal investigation began on Jul 11,” said the Prime Minister. 

Mr Lee said he has instructed Mr Iswaran to take a leave of absence until the investigation is completed. In his absence, Senior Minister of State Chee Hong Tat will be Acting Minister for Transport.

CNA has contacted the People’s Action Party (PAP) about Mr Iswaran’s role as a Member of Parliament while the investigation is carried out.

In its statement, CPIB said it will investigate this case “thoroughly with strong resolve to establish the facts and the truth, and to uphold the rule of law”.

“CPIB acknowledges the interest by members of the public in this case because a minister is being interviewed by CPIB. As investigations are ongoing, CPIB is unable to provide further details.”

It also said Singapore has a “strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption”. CPIB investigates all cases without fear or favour and will not hesitate to take action against any parties involved in corrupt activities, it added.


Mr Iswaran’s political career spans more than 26 years since he was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 1997 for West Coast GRC.

Before he was appointed to Cabinet in 2006, he was on several government parliamentary committees and was the Deputy Speaker of Parliament from September 2004 to June 2006.

He has been Minister for Transport since May 2021 and is concurrently Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations since May 2018.

Mr Iswaran has also held ministerial positions in the Ministry of Communications and Information, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Education. He was also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office from May 2011 to September 2015.

Before his career in politics, Mr Iswaran worked in both the public and private sector, including at the Ministry of Trade and Industry as well as Temasek Holdings. 

He joined the Singapore Administrative Service in 1987, serving in the Ministries of Home Affairs and Education before being seconded to the National Trades Union Congress. He was also the Singapore Indian Development Association’s first chief executive officer. 

Mr Iswaran read Economics at the University of Adelaide and graduated with First Class Honours. He also holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button