CPIB's probe 'not the end' of Iswaran's life or future: Tharman during walkabout

He said the Singapore system is transparent and it has never had a prime minister who prevented the CPIB from doing its work.

Winnie Li | July 15, 2023, 12:54 PM

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The ongoing probe by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) on Minister for Transport S Iswaran is "not the end of his life at all", said former Senior Minister and presidential hopeful Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

He was responding to media queries as someone who has known Iswaran "for a long time" during his walkabout at Teck Whye Shopping Centre on the morning of Jul. 15, 2023.

He said: “It’s not the end of his life or end of his future. He will go through with this. But let the investigation take its course, and let us not make judgments at this point. The system works and it must work.”

The former Coordinating Minister for Social Policies stepped down from public service on July 7 after four decades to run for the Singapore presidency.

Setback only further strengthens system

According to Tharman, the Singapore system refers to the mechanism that allows CPIB to be given "full rein" and do its work every time questions regarding integrity and incorruptibility emerge in the country.

To him, this system is what ultimately makes Singapore special and allows it to become the subject of admiration around the world.

“We’ve never had a prime minister (who) prevents the CPIB from doing its work. If ever the day comes, the president will be there... that’s the Singapore system,” the former Cabinet minister said.

However, even if that day ever comes, Tharman said he is optimistic that the system will not be compromised, as the president should be there to uphold it.

This is also why he said he believes that Singaporeans will eventually get past this setback, which will only further strengthen the Singapore system: "I think we will get past this, and we will be able to focus on the issues that really matter to ordinary people and the challenges that alter their lives."

Confidence in Singapore system is critical to our future

The reason that the Singapore system, which is set up to ensure there is no compromise when it comes to integrity, must work is that confidence in it is critical to the nation's future, Tharman added.

He said it builds trust between the government and the people domestically and is what allows people to put trust in each other, he said.

Internationally, the system also allows Singapore to gain the trust of foreign entities.

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