Former Singapore Minister pleads not guilty in rare corruption case

Singapore’s former transport minister, S. Iswaran, known for ushering Formula One racing into the city-state, entered a plea of not guilty on Thursday, following a barrage of corruption and bribery charges brought against him during a court hearing.

In a statement, he declared his innocence and said that he will focus on clearing his reputation. Iswaran firmly denied all allegations levelled against him, shortly after his court appearance where he faced multiple charges, including corruption and obtaining valuables while serving as a public servant.

Iswaran noted that he voluntarily tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday, even without any official request to do so. “I stepped down as a Cabinet Minister, Member of Parliament, and a member of the People’s Action Party because I believed it was the right course of action,” Iswaran said.

Furthermore, Iswaran informed the Prime Minister on Wednesday that, despite his innocence, he intended to return all the remuneration he had received as Minister and the allowances he had received as a Member of Parliament, starting from the inception of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau’s inquiries in July 2023.

The former minister, whose political career spanned nearly three decades, explained that he and his family chose to return the funds as they believed it was the ethical thing to do. His monthly salary had been reduced to S$8,500, with a full annual MP allowance of S$192,500.