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Iswaran faces 8 new charges related to MRT viaduct works by Lum Chang

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore  • 3 min read
Iswaran faces 8 new charges related to MRT viaduct works by Lum Chang
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Former transport minister S Iswaran has been handed eight new charges, bringing the total to 35.

Iswaran is alleged to have received various gifts between November 2021 and November 2022 from one Lum Kok Seng, managing director of construction firm Lum Chang Holdings L19 -

, which was the contractor for additional works done on MRT viaducts near and at Tanah Merah MRT Station. The contracts were awarded by the Land Transport Authority, under the purview of Iswaran as the then Minister of Transport.

Iswaran appeared in court earlier this morning, after coming back from an extended court-approved stay in Australia for medical reasons.

The new charges are under Section 165 of the Penal Code which makes it a crime for public servants to accept gifts from parties involved with them in an official capacity.

According to the latest charges tendered on March 25, Iswaran is alleged to have received from Lum a TaylorMade golf driver worth $749; a set of Honma Beres BE-08 Black AQ MX golf clubs worth $4,420 and a Scotty Cameron Phantom golf putter worth $600 and two golf chippers worth around $100 each.

Iswaran has also allegedly received two bottles of Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila whisky worth $542.23 from Lum and two bottles of M&H Elements Sherry Cask whisky worth $198, as well as various bottles of wine.

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Last but not least, he received a Brompton T Line bicycle worth $7,907.50 from Lum as well.

According to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, Iswaran, as a public servant, had allegedly obtained "valuable things" worth a total of $18,956.94 from Lum.

Lum Chang, in a statement posted via the stock exchange, says it is aware of the media reports that have mentioned Lum.

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"The board will make the appropriate announcement(s) as and when there are material developments relating to the matter," the company adds.

In response to a pointed follow-up query by the Singapore Exchange S68 -

, Lum Chang says that Lum has attended "several" interviews by the CPIB and that no charges have been filed nor restrictions imposed on him.

"The board and the nominating committee have assessed the above and have determined that Mr Lum continues to be suitable to carry out his duties and responsibilities as managing director of the company, unless there are subsequent developments which require the board and the nominating committee to make a re-assessment," the company says.

According to the AGC, thus far, the value of gifts received by Iswaran under the Section 165 Penal Code is worth a total of $237,015.89 and the total amount under the PCA charges has reached $166,282.03.

The bulk of the previous charges allege that Iswaran received tickets to concerts, soccer matches, F1 races, accommodation at luxury resorts and business class flights from entities related to Ong Beng Seng, who has been heading the Singapore organiser of the annual F1 races, Singapore GP.

Ong is also the managing director of Hotel Properties H15 -

Limited. 

In addition, Iswaran faces two charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) and one for obstruction of justice.

He is not pleading guilty.

In a statement issued to the media, the AGC said that it will make a decision on the investigations against Lum after the case against Iswaran has been completed, including the presentation of evidence in court. 

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