'We respect the system' & will let Iswaran's case take its course: Desmond Lee

Lee also emphasised that West Coast GRC residents' needs come first and foremost.

Hannah Martens | January 18, 2024, 09:46 PM



Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said that while the West Coast group representation constituency (GRC) team was "saddened" by former transport minister S Iswaran's resignation, they would "let the system take its course".

Lee spoke to the media on Jan. 18, 2024, addressing the developments earlier in the day, including the resignation of Iswaran as Member of Parliament (MP) for West Coast GRC.

"As fellow MPs and community leaders, having worked many years with him, we're saddened by this development that he has had to resign under these circumstances," said Lee. He added:

"Nevertheless, we respect the system being fair, impartial and robust. We let the system take its course."

Residents' needs come first and foremost

Since July 2023, Lee and the other West Coast MPs — Rachel Ong, Foo Mee Har, Patrick Tay and Ang Wei Neng — have stepped up and covered Iswaran's duties on the ground in West Coast.

"Our assurance is that those arrangements will continue and we assure residents that we'll continue to support them and ensure that their needs are met," Lee said.

Lee emphasised that they want to ensure that residents' needs come "first and foremost".

He added that community leaders in West Coast shared that "whatever the circumstances," they want to continue to look after the residents.

In response to a question by the media about the ground sentiments, Lee said that since the case started in July, there would always be concern by residents, volunteers, and leaders when there are new developments in the case.

"Our key is to make sure that we address their concerns, ensure that they get the right facts, and ensure that all of us remain united and remain focused on looking after the needs of the residents.

That must be paramount."

Iswaran resigned

Iswaran formally resigned as a Cabinet minister, MP and People's Action Party member on Jan. 18, 2024.

This followed a corruption probe by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

Iswaran was handed 27 charges, including criminal charges of obtaining any valuable thing from a person concerned in any related proceeding or business as a public servant, obstruction of justice, and corruption charges of receiving gratification.

He pleaded not guilty and maintained that he is innocent.

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Top photos via Mothership