SINGAPORE: In light of the corruption charges against former Transport Minister S Iswaran on Thursday (Jan 18), the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) was asked questions about hotelier Ong Beng Seng.

Aside from the corruption charges, the former Transport Minister is facing 24 additional charges for having accepted from Mr Ong “valuable things” worth more than S$384,000 between November 2015 and December 2022. These include the following:

  • F1 tickets worth S$347,152.10
  • Plays and musicals worth S$10,693.91
  • Flights and accommodation worth S$20,848.03
  • Football matches worth S$5,646.94

The former Transport Minister is said to have received 36 Green Room tickets, 5 Boardwalk tickets, 14 Twenty3 tickets and 61 general admission tickets to various F1 Grand Prix events from 2016 to 2022. A number of the tickets he received allowed him premium access to viewing the prestigious races.

Mr Iswaran allegedly received 40 tickets to plays and musicals in the United Kingdom, including those to Thriller, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; Book of Mormon, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Part 1, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Part 2, School of Rock, Hamilton, Waitress, and Back to the Future.

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He also allegedly received a paid-for trip to Doha on a private plane from Mr Ong worth S$10,410.40 in December 2022, as well as a night’s stay at Four Seasons Doha, worth S$4,737.63 and a flight worth S$5,700 on business class that was paid for by Singapore GP, a company Mr Ong owns.

Lastly, he received 16 tickets to football matches from 2015 to 2018, including games where the following teams played: West Ham United FC, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC, and Manchester City FC.

Connections between S Iswaran and Ong Beng Seng

Mr Ong is best known for bringing F1 to the country, launching the Singapore Grand Prix in 2008. A friend of F1 boss Bernie Eccleston, Mr Ong helped seal the deal in 2007 that brought the race to Singapore.

Mr Iswaran, meanwhile, was the chairman of, and later adviser to, the F1 steering committee.

Mr Iswaran was charged with two counts of corruption over allegedly accepting more than S$160,000 from the hotelier. The charges relate to advancing Mr Ong’s business interests in a Singapore Grand Prix contract with the Singapore Tourism Board.

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Read also: Ong Beng Seng appears at SG F1 amid ongoing CPIB probe

What’s AGC’s decision on Iswaran’s corruption case?

A spokesperson for the AGC said, “The Attorney-General’s Chambers will take a decision in respect of the investigations against Mr Ong and others, after the case against Mr S Iswaran has been completed, including the presentation of evidence in court.”

In commenting on Mr Iswaran’s case, including his resignation from the PAP as Minister and Member of Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said the AGC would be examining the investigations carried out by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and determine if decisions should be taken against other individuals involved in this matter. /TISG

Read also: S Iswaran rejects corruption charges, plans to clear his name