Singapore draws bold line under corruption saga

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Singapore has sent a strong message to defend its clean image. Six months after authorities revealed a graft investigation involving the city-state’s transport minister, S. Iswaran, the Corruption Practices Investigation Bureau has charged him with 27 offenses, including receiving kickbacks worth $286,000 from property tycoon Ong Beng Seng. The watchdog has left no stone unturned: alleged favours comprise $250 tickets to West End musicals going back to 2015, football matches and F1 races. Iswaran, who resigned on the same day, has rejected the charges. Authorities are hoping to make an example from the rare and embarrassing scandal. The saga has become one of the most high-profile corruption episodes linked to a minister in four decades and comes at a delicate time. The wealth hub is already reeling from a $2 billion money laundering case; a leadership transition is also looming and the country will hold elections by 2025. The tough stance should help the ruling party defend its hard-earned reputation.

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