SINGAPORE: The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s son Mr Lee Hsien Yang, has suggested that the governing People’s Action Party (PAP) should lift the party whip next month when Parliament debates Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Hazel Poa’s motion to suspend Transport Minister S Iswaran, amid an ongoing corruption investigation.
Mr Lee, the estranged younger brother of PAP chief and current PM Lee Hsien Loong, said on Facebook: “Excellent motions by Hazel and the PSP. Perhaps the PAP should lift the whip to allow PAP members to vote according to their conscience for the motion!”
Mr Lee Hsien Yang is a member of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP). Hours before he made his post, PSP vice chairperson Hazel Poa revealed that she has filed a motion to suspend Mr Iswaran “for the remainder of the current session of the 14th Parliament” to ensure that he does not receive his annual MP allowance, which amounts to S$192,500 while he is interdicted from his duties, during an ongoing probe by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).
Last month, PM Lee confirmed in Parliament that Mr Iswaran continues to draw his MP allowance since it differs from ministerial pay and does not fall under the Prime Minister’s discretion. To remove the MP’s allowance, it would require parliamentary action to interdict the member as an MP, a step not taken in previous cases involving ministers investigated for corruption.
Ms Poa’s motion is scheduled for debate during the next parliament sitting, set for September 18. In addition to this motion, Ms Poa plans to introduce a Private Member’s Bill to amend the Parliament (Privileges, Immunities and Powers) Act to ensure that Mr Iswaran is rightfully reimbursed should he be cleared of any wrongdoing by the CPIB.
- The ongoing investigation into Mr Iswaran’s activities by the CPIB, which led to his arrest on July 11, has garnered significant attention. The Minister is currently out on bail and has been placed on a leave of absence pending the investigation’s outcome. Aside from his MP allowance, he now draws a reduced ministerial pay of $8,500 per month despite being suspended from his ministerial duties.
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