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MOF clarifies “no conflict of interest” between Tharman’s Presidential candidacy and his son’s role in MOF

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Public Service Division (PSC) released a statement on Wednesday, asserting no “conflict of interest” between Akilan’s role and his father’s presidency bid.



SINGAPORE: A statement regarding Akilan, the son of presidential candidate Tharman Shanmugaratnam, has been issued by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Public Service Division (PSC) Secretariat.

Mr Tharman, a former senior minister from the People’s Action Party (PAP) is currently bidding for the Presidential Election which is set to poll on Friday (1 Sept).

The latest statement issued on Wednesday (30 Aug) mentioned that Akilan has been a part of MOF since June 2022. Currently, he is engaged in shaping education and manpower policies within the social programmes directorate.

The Singapore Government Directory website has been updated to reflect Akilan’s new job role.

The statement also emphasized that there exists “no conflict of interest” between Akilan’s current position and his father’s presidential candidacy.

“Akilan was previously working in the Reserves and Investment Directorate at MOF. No conflict of interest occurred in his previous work at the Directorate, ” the statement wrote.

“The decision was made in July to rotate him and preempt any possible potential for conflict of interest situations in the presidential election. Akilan was treated like all other Overseas Merit Scholars, according to prevailing policies.”

“Akilan disrupted from his NS in 2011, resumed his NS duties in 2015 and finished his NS obligations, like his other PSC scholarship peers who had disrupted, ” the statement added.

However, MOF’s statement essentially confirms that the person who has been the subject of online gossip is indeed Mr Tharman’s son.

Sudden shift in Akilan’s professional record sparks attention

Earlier, a member of the public informed Gutzy about a notable change in the professional record of Akilan.

Akilan’s record on was altered, transferring him from the Department of Reserves and Investment Directorate Reserves Policy at the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to the Social Programmes Directorate Education and Manpower.

This shift is said to have taken place between 10 am and 12.40 pm today.

Mr Tharman’s Portfolio before resigning from Cabinet and PAP

The online community has been abuzz with Akilan’s initial appointment at the reserves department, specifically on the local forum Hardwarezone.

Netizens have been debating whether there could be a conflict of interest, given that Akilan’s father, Mr Tharman had served as the Minister for Finance from 2007 to 2015.

Mr Tharman also served as Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore between 2011 and 2023, and Deputy Chairman of GIC between 2019 and 2023.

One forum member stated, “Tharman left MOF in 2015, so if his son joined after 2015 means no issue. Anyway, it’s not uncommon for their children to work in CS, Temasek, or GIC.”

Meanwhile, another speculated, “Tomorrow will be promoted to another ministry?”

Given the recent changes to Akilan’s record, some are wondering whether this move is a promotion or, contrarily, a demotion.

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Recall president’s son was allowed to defer NS for 12 years to develop his personal career first. What talents/achievements/accolades/international recognition did he bring to SG to merit his lengthy deferment? ZERO. Oh, no conflict of interest too, hor?

What *IF* CPIB find discrepancies in Iswaran ministers’ salary ?They report to president!What the president do next?Discuss with the PM ,AG,Justice, Presidents’ council/advisors and then decide? Or the president punish the relevant people by himself or herself?A better way to show impartiality is to discuss with a group formed by opposition MPs, Judges, Prominent academics.In this way ,check and balance will win the people’s trust.

The below was from my earlier post regarding conflict of interest: “Does NKS leads with foresight or he leads with hindsight? Now he says he will divest his interests in Avanda if elected to sidestep potential conflict of interest? This is only after public outcry of perceived or possible conflict of interest. So his action is reactive on hindsight. As an experienced investor running his own company, he do not know what is conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest? How did he do his due diligence before investing our money? What due diligence did Temasek carry out before… Read more »

Doesn’t all these preemptions tells Singaporeans that TS did not suddenly woke up one morning and decided he wanted to stand for PE for the sake of Singapore and Singaporeans?

Little things like this proved TS was asked to stand for election rather than the script he gave when he first put up his hand. George Yeo’s book also state clearly establishment candidates are instructed to stand to kill off any threat from independent candidates.

So much for all the make believe. Singaporeans now truly understand why an independent President is so important.

Vote wisely. No more public holiday and no President to vote next time if this WEF guy wins.

You may not know they will increase the $500 million criteria. What do you think?

Is he the one who advocates for CECAasians imports?

Thank you.

Enough is enough.

Our minds are made up. TKL is the choice

This is how Fantasy Island is!
None of these elites can make it on their own.
The system supports them and they fight to ensure their system endure.
And ultimately all sorts of conflict of interest arise.

Democracy? This is oligarchy in the making, if not already so!

Vote wisely, while you still can vote……

The Conflict of Interests continues at taxpayers’cost. No one is believing the denial. It is the reflex action of the PAP.

See, I told u. You bloody fellas just trying to badmouth our DPM.

Red dot is becoming a real happening place.

Scandals, laundering, white sleaze….

Hooray, ownself congrat ownself!!!

Rot and decay everywhere. Nobody is clean. This is the PAP of today.

Wow wow wow, as fast as lightning to ownself defend ownself.

OK let’s move on…..

You mean to say ‘ MOF instructed to say no conflict of interest in this case’
We have checked ourselves and found nothing wrong..Ownself Check Ownself and there is no discrepancies.

Fireworks put out just by a few key strokes – and magically Devil baptised as ‘God’, unto God’s Kingdom, to convert the unconverted unto Salvation, anyone whosoever believes in the Devil previously.