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Iswaran alleged to obtain S$19k items incl. Brompton bike, golf clubs in 8 new charges

Former Minister S Iswaran is now facing 8 new charges, with him being accused of receiving items worth nearly S$19k, including whisky, golf clubs, and a Brompton bike from a construction firm managing director. He now faces a total of 35 charges.



SINGAPORE: On Monday (25 March) morning, S Iswaran, the former Transport Minister, appeared in the State Courts to confront eight new charges under section 165 of the Penal Code.

These charges allege his receipt of valuable items, including whisky bottles, golf clubs, and a Brompton bicycle, from Lum Kok Seng, managing director of construction firm Lum Chang Holdings (LCH).

These acquisitions were linked to Iswaran’s official capacity as Transport Minister, intersecting with Lum’s dealings with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) via Lum Chang Building Contractors.

In a separate statement on Monday, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) disclosed that the items in question hold a combined value of approximately S$18,956.94.

CPIB noted that, as with the earlier charges, the Court has approved the Prosecution’s request for the eight additional charges to be transferred to the General Division of the High Court.

With these additions, Iswaran now faces a total of 35 charges.

When asked by District Judge Brenda Tan, Iswaran maintained his plea of not guilty to the additional charges.

Iswaran is being represented by Senior Counsel Davinder Singh and other counsels from Davinder Singh Chambers.

Defence queries timing and handling of new charges against Iswaran

On Monday morning, Iswaran appeared at the State Courts accompanied by lawyers Mr Navin Thevar, Mr Rajvinder Singh, and Ms Sheiffa Safi Shirbeeni from Davinder Singh Chambers.

Notably absent was Senior Counsel Davinder Singh, as reported by Singapore state media CNA.

Chief Prosecutor Tan Kiat Pheng led the prosecution team, supported by Deputy Chief Prosecutor Jiang Ke-Yue and Deputy Public Prosecutor Kelvin Chong.

Mr Tan outlined two objectives for Monday’s court hearing: to present the additional charges and to arrange for the transfer of these new charges to the High Court.

Following this, the defence raised questions about the timing and handling of the new charges against Iswaran.

Mr Thevar inquired whether the prosecution intended to file any further charges against his client.

Explaining the defence’s concerns, Mr Thevar referenced events from 5 January 2024, when the prosecution recorded 36 cautioned statements from Iswaran.

“These eight that were filed today were not part of the 36.”

“However, at the first mention on 18 January 2024, the prosecution gave the defence only 27 charges without telling the defence it was not proceeding on nine charges, and your honour will recall that when we learnt there were 27 and not 36, we raised (this) to the court.”

Mr Thevar further noted that despite the prosecution’s decision to drop nine charges after considering all evidence, there was no indication of the possibility of additional charges.

He highlighted the defence’s correspondence with the prosecution on 31 January, where Iswaran expressed his intention to seek an early trial, yet the prosecution did not mention the possibility of more charges in response.

“On 16 Mar, three days before the first CCDC (criminal case disclosure conference) in High Court on 19 Mar, CPIB asked our client to attend at its offices on 18 Mar,” the lawyer said.

During this meeting, Iswaran was served the eight new charges and cautioned statements were taken.

“It is not clear why these eight charges have been brought only now,” Mr Thevar emphasized the lack of clarity regarding the timing of these new charges, especially since they related to matters previously discussed with CPIB in July and August last year.

“Our client was not even asked to attend any further interviews to answer any question about those matters.”

Mr Thevar revealed that on 18 March, Iswaran inquired with the CPIB officer about the timeline for the new charges to be brought to court, receiving a response indicating that a decision had yet to be made.

Iswaran was only notified on 22 March of the prosecution’s decision to file the eight charges against him, according to Mr Thevar.

In response, the Chief Prosecutor asserted, “All charges are tendered against the accused person in this case based on evidence received by CPIB and reviewed by AGC, ” suggesting that the defence should raise these concerns in the High Court, rather than the current venue.

The Chief Prosecutor requested that the charges be moved to the High Court for the next CCDC on 2 April.

Subsequently, the judge acknowledged the new charges and directed Iswaran’s bailor to recognize them, transferring the eight charges to the High Court for trial.

Background of Iswaran’s eight new charges

The eight new charges against Iswaran detail the items he allegedly received from Mr Lum between November 2021 and November 2022.

During this period, Mr Lum was involved in overseeing the performance of the T315 contract, which entailed addition and alteration works to the existing Tanah Merah Station and viaducts under the auspices of Lum Chang Building Contractors and the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

The charges specify the items acquired by Iswaran:

  • Four bottles of Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila whisky valued at S$1,084.46.
  • Two bottles of Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila whisky valued at S$524.23; Three bottles of L’Evangile 2014 wine valued at S$394.20; Three bottles of Pauillac De Latour 2015 wine valued at S$186.31; Three bottles of Albert Bichot Domaine du Clos Frantin Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru 2015 wine valued at S$1,177.21; and three bottles of Pichon Lalande 2010 wine valued at S$955.80.
  • A TaylorMade golf driver valued at S$749.
  • Two bottles of Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila whisky worth S$524.23
  • A set of Honma Beres BE-08 Black AQ MX golf clubs valued at S$4,420.
  • A Brompton T Line bicycle valued at S$7,907.50.
  • Two bottles of M&H Elements Sherry Cask whisky valued at S$198.
  • A Scotty Cameron Phantom golf putter valued at S$600, along with two golf chippers valued at S$100 each.

Earlier on 18 January, Mr Iswaran was charged in the State Courts with  27 offences, including corruption, receiving gratification as a public servant and obstructing justice.

The 61-year-old entered a plea of not guilty to all charges linked to his interactions with property tycoon Ong Beng Seng.

He had also tendered his resignation from Parliament and the People’s Action Party (PAP).

The court heard that the charges included two counts of corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 24 counts related to receiving items from individuals with whom he had business dealings in his capacity as a public servant, and one charge for obstructing the course of justice under the Penal Code.

According to charge sheets, between 2015 and 2022, Iswaran received “valuable things” exceeding S$384,000 (US$285,000) from Ong, the man who brought Formula One to Singapore.

These included tickets to shows, football matches, and multiple editions of the Singapore F1 Grand Prix.

Corruption charges about a private plane journey, hotel accommodation, and a business class flight

As for the two corruption charges under Sections 6(a) and 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Iswaran is accused of corruptly receiving more than S$166,000 (US$123,570) worth of flights, hotel stays and tickets to events in exchange for advancing Mr Ong’s business interests.

He allegedly corruptly obtained 10 Green Room tickets, eight Twenty3 tickets and 32 general admission tickets to the 2022 Singapore F1 GP, worth about $48,150, $56,068 and $41,216 respectively, in September 2022.

Allegations of obstructing the course of justice

Additionally, Iswaran faces allegations of obstructing the course of justice on or around 25 May 2023.

As detailed in court documents,  he allegedly made a repayment of S$5,700 to Singapore GP, equivalent to the cost of his business flight ticket from Doha to Singapore.

This act was carried out with the knowledge that it was likely to obstruct the proper functioning of justice.

Penalties for convictions under PCA and Penal Code

For individuals convicted under Section 165 of the Penal Code, the penalties can include fines or imprisonment for up to two years, or a combination of both.

Individuals convicted under Section 6(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) may face imprisonment for a maximum of five years, a fine of up to S$100,000, or both.

Similarly, under Section 7, the potential penalties include imprisonment for up to seven years, a fine of up to S$100,000, or both.

For the offence of attempting to obstruct the course of justice, the consequences entail a possible imprisonment term of up to seven years, a monetary fine, or a combination of both.

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Better check if he was also billed only $8 for heart bypass surgery.

With his salary yet he greed for $19000 gifts. This shows that there is no salary high enough for a person not to be wanting more. It all depends on the individual and Iswaran is not the only one.

Wah, means CPIB got to go to Iswaran villa to seize all these items.
Guess ,either Iswaran cold feet and spill more beans for CPIB to add more charges or there are really some ‘serious whistle blowers’ going full time on Iswaran.
Guess Iswaran had made some friends and also some enemies along the way.
Either way, CPIB must have dug way pass 10 yrs, of what and who Iswaran had dealth with, to come up with more SHIT.
Some honcho in CPIB is really going for the promotion!😆😆😆😆

Brompton bike? If we are to ask Khaw Boon Wan, he would have said: It is OKAY.

Native-born Singaporean arrested for corruption???
No…he was from Indi-aaaaaa originally.

No wonder last time old lee insisted to get true blue native-born Singaporeans to become ministers, mps and civil servants.

Someone once said paying high salary will keep corruption away? So the theory was wrong then?

Will Mr Lum from Lum Chang get it?
Nah, cronies are essential for the money driven economy!😆😆😆😆

did he also obtain taylor swift tickets??🤔

These Millionaire bastards pull up a fast one, emotional satisfaction, fleshy lust of the heart with physical sufficiency. And they justify their greed that paying astronomical salaries to themselves overcome dishonesty.

What eff theory is this. All out to rob National Reserves that’s all and the fake claim 2nd key is needed when the fact no key is required when Reserves door IS UNLOCKED all the time.

Is justice really justice in SG.

Is the Judiciary in SG fully independent.

Is the Judiciary free from Executive interference.

Who is the Judiciary report to.

Is the Constitution of SG overriding the entire Judiciary institution in SG or bending towards unseen hands.

Keppel Corp Bribery was not prosecuted successfully locally SPARKS rumours of selective justice PERCEIVED by the people, when CONTRASTINGLY in the 🇺🇸, the DOJ has so very EFFECTIVELY, SUCCESSFULLY INDICTED Keppel Corpn paying bribes where Keppel also WAS MADE to pay 100s of Dollars to 🇺🇸 as PENALTIES – why did Keppel Corpn DID NOT APPEAL or FIGHT against their convictions?

Is this interesting. Is this intriguing.

How different justice work, justice is applied in SG and 🇺🇸?

What is the basis of judiciary Application in SG?

There should be no association between businessman and mps. Last time grassroots, now cabinet minister. The rot is deep.

After this he can work for OBS or the likes. Life is very good for the elite. No end to free alcohol and Brampton bikes. etc

Is this the only known crime or is there something else that is being hidden that is so riveting that made LHL allow the prosecution of Iswaran? In dollars consideration, this is peanuts compared to the six KOM executives crime which was never prosecuted.

Iswaran is a stupid guy. He has the chance to run away but he choose to come back to be charge. Obviously he has been kick out and he is going to jail. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

All these are traceable items, include earlier charges.

However, are there any untraceable items like piles of cash or under the table fat envelopes?

For the sake of my Political party the PAP.. which I adore, revere and worship, I respectfully bow and offer my body so that the Party retain its control of Singapore.

Do anything…