Presidential candidate Tharman Shanmugaratnam has been called on to clarify the role his son, Akilan, plays in the management of Singapore’s reserves.
According to the Ministry of Finance, Akilan is a senior associate at the Reserves and Investment Directorate of the Ministry of Finance.
This directorate oversees policies related to the investment of the reserves.
As of this afternoon, Akilan’s name appears to have been removed from the Finance Ministry’s directory.
The president holds the second key to the reserves, and his approval is needed before the government can draw on the reserves.
A scenario where Mr Tharman becomes president while his son is involved in the management of the reserves spells a potential conflict of interest.
As such, Singaporeans have urged Mr Tharman to clarify his son’s role in the Finance Ministry.
There also have been calls for Mr Tharman to explain why the potential conflict of interest involving his son was not publicly disclosed earlier.
Akilan was a recipient of the SINDA Excellence Award in 2010.
A PSC Overseas Merit Scholar, he was granted a disruption from full-time National Service from 2011 to 2015 to pursue higher education.
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.