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Parliament Votes to Pay Iswaran Salary and Full MP Allowance Despite Being Ordered Not to Work

PAP and Workers’ Party MPs voted in favour of a motion today to pay Transport S Iswaran his salary and full MP allowance during a CPIB probe into corruption.

This comes despite Isawaran being ordered not to work by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Iswaran is currently barred from performing his MP and ministerial duties as he is on an enforced leave of absence until results of the CPIB investigation have been released.

He is being paid a full MP’s salary of S$192,500 a year, and a reduced ministerial salary of S$8500 a month.

PSP NCMP Hazel Poa had filed a motion for parliament to officially suspend Isawaran from service of parliament so that he would not receive his MP’s allowance.

She said that the motion is about “prudent use” of taxpayers’ money, and that it is right for him to be put on no-pay leave as an MP since he is already not performing his MP duties.

Poa said that in the event that Iswaran is found innocent, his backpay of MP allowance can be paid to him fully.

However, by continuing to allow Iswaran to continue drawing his MP’s allowance, there is “no control over where the money flows” if he is found guilty, and that it might require much effort to recover the money.

There is no indication to date on when Iswaran the CPIB will release the results of their investigations.

PAP MP Indranee Rajah filed a counter-motion to “consider the matter” of Iswaran’s MP’s allowance while not performing his duties until the outcome of the CPIB investigation is known.

Indranee said that the underlying principle behind Poa’s motion should apply to other MPs under investigation as well, referring to Workers’ Party MPs Pritam Singh and Faisal Manap.

Both WP MPs are under police investigation for their conduct during a Committee of Privileges hearing into former WP MP Raeesah Khan’s lies in parliament.

Indranee added that it would be “premature” to take any action against Iswaran as an MP as currently there is not enough material to make an informed decision.

She said that such situations shouls not be exploited for “political ends”.

She added that the PAP would consider a clawback if justified as a matter of party discipline.

The Prime Minister, she said, will consider the allegations if Mr Iswaran is charged, and decide whether to make him resign or pay back his salary and allowance without waiting for the legal process.

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