SINGAPORE: PM Lee will make a ministerial statement on the ongoing graft investigation involving Transport Minister S Iswaran in parliament on Wednesday. He will also address the resignations of former parliament speaker Tan Chuan-Jin and fellow PAP MP Cheng Li Hui, according to an order paper.
Mr Iswaran was arrested by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) on Jul 11. He is out on bail and placed on a leave of absence.
Less than a week later, former Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin and Member of Parliament (MP) Cheng Li Hui resigned from parliament and the People’s Action Party (PAP) on Jul 17 after it was revealed that the pair had been having an extramarital affair that possibly began as early as 2018.
According to the order paper, a number of MPs have filed questions on the CPIB probe for Wednesday’s parliamentary session.
Here are some of the questions raised:
Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis: To ask the Prime Minister (a) whether CPIB is obligated to seek the Prime Minister’s concurrence to open formal investigations on potential offences that CPIB has uncovered; (b) if so, under what circumstances or cases will CIB be obligated to seek such concurrence; (c) whether the Prime Minister’s power to give or refuse concurrence to CPIB is circumscribed or open-ended; (d) whether there are occasions where the Prime Minister has declined permission for CPIB to investigate a matter and, if so, what are these circumstances.
Mr Leong Mun Wai: To ask the Prime Minister (a) whether all investigations by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau require the Prime Minister’s concurrence; (b) if not, what type of investigations require the Prime Minister’s concurrence; and (c) why the investigations under part (b) require the Prime Minister’s concurrence.
Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song: To ask the Prime Minister whether the Government adheres to a timeline for disclosing information about a political office holder if the information, which could include their arrest by the Police, would be likely to materially affect public confidence in the Government.
Ms He Ting Ru: To ask the Prime Minister what are the specific considerations that CPIB takes into account in deciding when to announce that individuals are involved in ongoing investigations and in deciding what is the appropriate level of disclosure required at a specific time.
Ms Hazel Poa: To ask the Prime Minister what are the measures currently in place to protect civil servants who choose not to follow (i) inappropriate or (ii) non-official instructions or requests from political office holders.
PSP’s NCMPs have filed a motion on the impartiality of the Speaker of Parliament. The wording of the motion is: “That this House reaffirms its commitment to the need for the Speaker of Parliament to be independent and impartial and for parliament to be a fair arena for all.”
Meanwhile, MP Seah Kian Peng (PAP-Marine Parade) is to be nominated as Singapore’s new Speaker of Parliament.
The sitting on Wednesday (Aug 2) will also include the swearing-in of eight new Nominated MPs. /TISG