PAP and WP MPs reject PSP’s call to suspend Iswaran as MP amid CPIB probe

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SINGAPORE - People’s Action Party and Workers’ Party MPs rejected a motion on Tuesday to suspend Transport Minister S. Iswaran as an MP, agreeing that there is no basis to do so.

This is as the outcome of investigations is not yet known, said Leader of the House Indranee Rajah.

For the House to take any action on Mr Iswaran at this stage is premature and would prejudge the outcome of his case, she said during a debate on whether to suspend Mr Iswaran for the remaining term of Parliament. The motion was filed by Progress Singapore Party’s (PSP) Non-Constituency MP Hazel Poa.

Ms Indranee filed a separate motion that called on the House to be firm and fair with any MPs being investigated for possible wrongdoing, and to consider Mr Iswaran’s case when the outcome of the investigations against him is known. This was passed by Parliament after about two hours of discussion on both motions.

Ms Indranee said Parliament, which has the power to suspend an MP, should make decisions based on generally applicable principles, and not on individual cases in isolation.

“The suspension of an MP is a serious matter. If done, it must be done in accordance with the law and on the right principles,” she added.

Mr Iswaran was arrested by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) on July 11 and is out on bail. He has been placed on a leave of absence and had his monthly pay reduced to $8,500 until further notice, though he continues to draw his MP allowance.

Ms Poa said PSP’s position is that an MP or minister who is under investigation for corruption and suspended from official duties should be put on no-pay leave until the investigation or criminal case is concluded, and to only receive back pay if they are subsequently cleared by the investigation.


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