Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Kopi Politics

PE2023: “How About My Daughter and My Mother…?” Tharman Gets Defensive When Asked About Conflict of Interest Matters

Presidential candidate Tharman Shanmugaratnam got defensive when he was asked about whether there was any potential conflict of interest with his son working at the Ministry of Finance (MOF) in a role related to the management of the reserves.

The president’s approval is required for the government to draw on the reserves, and Singaporeans pointed out that there might be potential scenario of “ownself check own son” if Tharman were to become president.

At the time, Tharman’s son, Arkilan was still listed as a senior associate in the Reserves & Investment Directorate, tasked with Reserves Policy.

This evening, the Finance Ministry and Public Service Commission (PSC) issued a statement saying that Arkilan is now working on education and manpower policies in the social programmes directorate in MOF.

MOF and PSC said “the decision was made in July” to rotate Arkilan.

However, scant detail was provided on when exactly Arkilan was moved to his new position.

When queried by the media today, Tharman appeared at times to be flustered to the point of losing his cool.

When asked if he had declared the potential conflict of interest to the Elections Department, he said:

“For what purpose? How about my daughter and my mother and my sister or anyone like that?”

Tharman added:

“There has to be some conflict of interest. So if there’s no conflict of interest, it’s a simple matter. This is an utterly straightforward issue… that’s all there is to it. It is a non-story. A complete non-story, that’s all.”

This reason for this uncharacteristic surly demeanour from the former senior minister is also uncertain, since the issue regarding his son was seemingly done and dusted last month, according to the MOF and PSC.

Tharman also said that the statement by the MOF and PSC’s statement had to be taken “at face value”.

He said:

“There’s nothing for me to answer.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Copyright © 2023 Redwire Singapore