Who is Lum Kok Seng, the man named in Iswaran’s new charges?

Who is Lum Kok Seng, the man named in Iswaran’s new charges?

Who is Lum Kok Seng, the man named in Iswaran’s new charges?


SINGAPORE – Former transport minister S. Iswaran was handed eight new charges on March 25 that allege he had obtained, as a public servant, valuable items worth nearly $19,000 from Mr Lum Kok Seng.


Iswaran is said to have obtained items such as a Brompton bicycle, golf clubs and bottles of whisky from Mr Lum between November 2021 and November 2022.


Iswaran, who was appointed transport minister in May 2021 and resigned from the post in January 2024, allegedly knew that Mr Lum was linked to a Land Transport Authority (LTA) contract for works at Tanah Merah MRT station through the latter’s company, Lum Chang Building Contractors (LCBC).


Iswaran now faces a total of 35 charges, 32 of which are under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which makes it an offence for a public servant to accept gifts from someone involved with him in an official capacity.


His remaining charges comprise two for corruption and one for obstructing the course of justice. Iswaran pleaded not guilty to all charges.


In response to queries from The Straits Times, a Lum Chang spokesperson referred to a statement by its board of directors issued to employees on March 25.


The statement said the board is aware that Mr Lum and LCBC were mentioned in media reports involving Iswaran and will make an announcement when there are material developments in the case.


The Attorney-General’s Chambers said it will take a decision in respect of the investigations against Mr Lum after the case against Iswaran has been completed, including the presentation of evidence in court.


Mr Lum, a Singaporean, is listed as managing director of Lum Chang Holdings (LCH)  – a property management, interior design and construction firm – on the company’s website.


Iswaran is said to have obtained valuable items, including a Brompton T Line bicycle worth around $7,900, a set of golf clubs worth $4,420 and 22 bottles of wine and whisky worth more than $5,000 from Mr Lum.


According to LCH’s 2023 annual report, Mr Lum is also listed as a director of LCH’s construction arm, LCBC, among other subsidiaries.


The report states that Mr Lum has around 50 years of industry experience and led the expansion of the company’s property development activities in Singapore, Malaysia and Britain. He is listed as being 74 years old in the June 2023 annual report.


According to the Prime Minister’s Office website, Mr Lum was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2010 in his capacity as patron of Ayer Rajah-West Coast Citizens’ Consultative Committee.


Ayer Rajah is part of West Coast GRC, where Iswaran served as MP from 1997 till his resignation in January 2024.


The Public Service Medal is awarded to any person who has rendered commendable public service in Singapore, or for his achievement in fields including business, sports and the sciences.


Tanah Merah MRT station project

Iswaran’s latest charges state that the former minister knew Mr Lum was involved in a contract for works at Tanah Merah MRT station when he allegedly obtained the items.


The contract involving Tanah Merah MRT station is worth $325 million, according to LCH’s annual report.


The project, which was awarded to LCBC by LTA in October 2016, involves addition and alteration works to the station and its existing viaducts.


Slated to be completed in 2025, the project includes the construction of an additional platform and concourse in the station, along with two entrances linked by an underpass near the Tanah Merah Kechil Avenue intersection.


LCBC has another ongoing project with LTA, namely the construction of the North-South Corridor tunnel between Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 and Avenue 9.


This contract is worth $799 million.


It was awarded to LCBC in December 2018 and is expected to be completed in 2027.


According to the annual report, construction for the Tanah Merah station project and the North-South Corridor is progressing well.


LCBC was also the main contractor for Bukit Panjang MRT station on the Downtown Line.


Shiying, W. (2024, March 25). Who is Lum Kok Seng, the man named in Iswaran’s new charges? The Straits Times. https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/who-is-lum-kok-seng-the-man-named-in-iswaran-s-new-charges

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.