Singapore Parliament rejects proposal to suspend Indian-origin MP
Opposition motion to suspend Transport Minister Iswaran denied by Singapore Parliament amid probe
The Parliament in Singapore has rejected a motion by the opposition party requesting suspension of Indian-origin Transport Minister S. Iswaran, stating that it will consider the matter when corruption investigations against the MP conclude.
During a two-hour debate on Tuesday, 19 September, Leader of the House Indranee Rajah said the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) would consider a clawback of Iswaran’s MP allowance if he is given criminal charges, the Channel News Asia reported.
The Progress Singapore Party’s (PSP) motion had called for Iswaran -- who was arrested in July and is under investigation by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau -- to be suspended as an MP for the remaining session of Parliament.
In response, Rajah filed a counter-motion for Parliament to consider the matter when the outcome of ongoing investigations against Iswaran is known.
The ruling PAP MPs voted for Rajah's motion, while the PSP's two Non-Constituency MPs -- Hazel Poa and Leong Mun Wai -- voted for their own motion.
Poa, who had filed the motion earlier this month, had said that she is doing it so that Iswaran would no longer receive the MP allowance as he was not performing his duties whether in Parliament or in his West Coast constituency.
Iswaran was requested by the Prime Minister to not perform any official duties during his investigation by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.
His ministerial duties are being covered by Acting Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat.
According to the news report, Iswaran has been interdicted from duty with a reduced pay of S$8,500 (US$6,200) a month. He continues to draw the full annual MP allowance of S$192,500.
“This motion is about the prudent use of taxpayers’ money, not a presumption of guilt,” Poa said.