Singapore transport minister S Iswaran is undergoing a corruption probe by the CPIB after the bureau sought concurrence from the Prime Minister on July 5th.
Iswaran is currently under investigation and has been asked to take leave of absence until the investigations are completed, as Chee Hong Tat will serve as the acting transport minister during the probe.
While Iswaran is innocent until proven guilty, experts believe that the probe can somewhat damage the reputation of PAP as it promised to run a clean and honest government. This post highlights some of the top expert opinions on the matter.
CPIB Probe a Body Blow to PAP but Speculations about the Outcome of the Case ‘Not Meaningful’ as Yet
Associate Professor Eugene Tan serves at the School of Law at Singapore Management University. Sharing his views on the case, he stated that it’s ‘not meaningful’ to discuss the outcome of the investigation just yet.
However, Prof. Tan emphasized that the case is a reputational hit for PAP and the government, especially as it prides itself on high standards against corruption.
He also added that since Iswaran has been asked to take official leave, it indicates that there may be some initial evidence hinting towards a possible breach of law.
He added that he has been relieved of his ministerial duties “suggests that there is preliminary credible evidence that laws may have been broken.”
Prof. Tan believes that how the government handles the case in rebuilding public perception and regaining their confidence will be critical.
Probe May Affect PAP’s Performance in Next General Elections
Miss Nydia Ngiow, the managing director of advisory firm BowerGroupAsia Singapore shed her views on the case, highlighting that the probe can significantly alter the outcomes of the next general elections for PAP.
Even though it’s too early to predict anything, the probe may play on voters’ minds when they vote during the next general elections.
Given that PAP is undergoing a transition in leadership, the timing of the probe could not have been worse. So, it’s highly important how the government handles the matters.
Enough Time for PAP to Get House in Order
Gillian Koh, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, believes the PAP has enough time to get things straight before the next election.
She added that the party has more than two years to bring back order and prepare for the next election, even though the current Iswaran probe might dent it.
She also added that it is critical to understand the Ridout Road as ministers in the past have been cleared of any wrongdoings.
Iswaran’s Political Standing May Be Severely Affected
Eugene Tan, a Law professor, stated that the case’s outcome may be secondary to what it does to the minister’s reputation as a political personnel.
Prof. Tan believes that Iswaran’s political career is in ‘grave doubt’ and his political standing is severely impacted.
It poses a challenge for PAP to nominate the accused minister in the next general elections, which are subject to clearance by the CPIB and AGC.
Expert opinions suggest that the CPIB probe has somewhat dented S Iswaran and his party’s reputation, which poses a challenge for PAP to regain the trust of the public.
What do you think is the future for Iswaran and PAP in light of the next general elections?
Tell us in the comment section.