Singapore is facing a wave of political scandals. Here’s what we know so far

Tan Chuan-Jin was among two lawmakers to resign on July 17 for engaging in an “inappropriate relationship” despite being told to quit as early as February.

Yong Teak Lim | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images

SINGAPORE – A series of revelations have rocked the Singaporean political scene over the past few weeks.

The news implicated the private lives of some of its leaders and highly paid ministers.

Here’s what we know so far:

Colonial era bungalows

The news developed in May when an opposition politician asked how Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and Law and Interior Minister K. Shanmugam were able to pay the rents of two of the Colonial-era bungalows owned by Singapore’s “high class” government along Ridout Road in an upscale residential area.

These transactions involved the Singapore Land Authority, a government agency under Shanmugam’s responsibility within the Ministry of Justice.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong eventually ordered a “review” overseen by a senior member of his cabinet and conducted by Singapore’s anti-corruption agency, which eventually found no evidence allegations of possible abuse of authority and conflict of interest.

The result of the examination was debated in the Parliament of Singapore.

“The fact is, I don’t believe anyone is making an allegation that the minister is corrupt [or] someone is corrupt in the system,” Pritam Singh, Singaporean Opposition Leader in Parliament, said on July 3.

“Singaporeans don’t make that point. I think it’s pretty clear to me.”

“The issue I think we need to address here is the ministerial code of conduct and a specific line of conduct that was taken by the minister when he asked his undersecretary for information,” he said. -he adds. “It is quite incongruousin the eyes of many, that a minister asks a civil servant for details which relate to information for his personal use.”

Minister of Transport arrested

In this September 19, 2013 file photo, Singapore property tycoon Ong Beng Seng talks to then-F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone in the pit lane ahead of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit Marina Bay Street.

Mark Thompson | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images

Ong is the managing director of the owner and operator of a listed hotel in Singapore Hotel Properties Limited and is widely credited with bringing Formula 1 to Singapore in 2008.

In 2022, his private company Singapore GP and the Singapore Tourism Board got the rights to host the Singapore Grand Prix until 2028.

The president resigns

Monday, Lee said he decided Tan Chuan Jin – the outgoing Speaker of the Singapore Parliament – “had to leave”. The decision came after he received reports that Tan had not ended an ‘inappropriate relationship’ with fellow People’s Action Party lawmaker Cheng Li Hui, even after the prime minister advised them to stop. in February.

Lee said Tan offered his resignation in February, but he intended for Tan to leave only after succession arrangements were finalized.

The prime minister said he found out about the affair between Tan and Cheng sometime after the 2020 general election.

Tan and Cheng previously announced their resignations on July 17, without explicitly stating their full reasons for leaving. Tan, 54, is married with two children. Cheng, 47, is said to be single. Both have since deleted their social media accounts.

Tan had appeared at link his resignation to comments he did in private seemingly unaware that his microphone was still on. He apologized July 11 for his “unparliamentary” behavior after the release of a video containing a clip in which he was heard muttering a swear word to describe Jamus Lim – an opposition MP.

“Inappropriate Exchange”

opposition The Workers’ Party said in a statement that he is “reviewing” a video circulating online that shows MP-elect Leon Perera in “an inappropriate exchange” with Nicole Seah, a member of the party who previously contested the 2020 general election.

Neither Perera nor Seah have yet publicly commented on the matter.