Friday, 3 December 2021

Raeesah Khan lying in Parliament: Workers' Party attempts at cover-up backfires spectacularly

Workers' Party leaders, Pritam Singh, Sylvia Lim and Faisal Manap told Raeesah Khan to Stick to the LIE she had told Parliament: Committee of Privileges

Raeesah Khan insists Workers' Party chief Pritam Singh had told her to keep up her lie and 'Take it to the GRAVE'
By Lim Yan Liang, Assistant News Editor, The Straits Times, 3 Dec 2021

Three senior Workers' Party (WP) MPs had told their party colleague Raeesah Khan to stick to the lie she had told in Parliament on Aug 3, the Committee of Privileges heard this week.


Ms Khan and two other party members said she was told by WP chief and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh, WP chairman Sylvia Lim and WP vice-chairman Faisal Manap at an Aug 8 meeting that there was no need for her to clarify herself or for the truth to be told.

Following that meeting, she texted her secretarial assistant and a WP volunteer: “I just met Pritam, Sylvia and Faisal... they’ve agreed that the best thing to do is to take the information to the grave.”




These were among a number of revelations contained in a special report that the committee presented to Parliament on Friday (Dec 3), and which was published on Parliament’s website, alongside footage of the committee’s hearings over the past two days.

Ms Khan and her former assistant Loh Pei Ying gave evidence to the committee on Thursday and Friday, while the volunteer, Mr Yudhishthra Nathan, did so on Friday. Ms Khan’s former legislative assistant Lim Hang Ling testified on Thursday.


Ms Khan, who resigned from the party and as an MP for Sengkang GRC on Tuesday, told the committee chaired by Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin that the WP leaders had told her to keep to the lie.

"My interpretation (of the meeting with WP leaders on Oct 3) was that that there would be no consequences for me to continue the narrative that I had begun in (Parliament) in August," she said in the recorded footage.

The committee said in its report: "If Ms Khan and the WP could get away with it, there was no need to clarify the lie. If the matter was brought up again, there would also be no need for her to clarify and there was no need for the truth to be told."


The report comes a day after Mr Singh told a press conference that the party leaders had decided to give Ms Khan time to deal with the matter, as she had also told them she had been a sexual assault victim herself, and had not told her family about it.

In her Aug 3 speech, Ms Khan said she had accompanied a 25-year-old rape victim to a police station to make a report, and that the officer who interviewed the victim had made inappropriate comments about the victim's dressing and the fact that she had been drinking. But Ms Khan never accompanied the victim to a police station.

She later admitted that the victim had shared the account in a support group for women, which Ms Khan herself was in, and said she did not have the victim's consent to share the story.


In her evidence to the committee, Ms Khan also disputed statements made by Mr Singh at his press conference on Thursday (Dec 2), where, among other things, he told reporters that he had directed Ms Khan to take responsibility and admit to her lie in Parliament, and that she had contradicted this order.

No one from WP advised her to tell the truth, Ms Khan told the committee. There was also no order for her to clarify the matter.


When the committee put to her on Thursday that Mr Singh said he had ordered her to clarify the matter in Parliament in October, Ms Khan replied: "I'm hearing this for the first time."

She said that on Oct 3, a day before the Oct 4 Parliament sitting, Mr Singh had visited her at her home and said that if she kept to her narrative on the untruths which she had said on Aug 3, there would be no judgment by him.

"Ms Khan understood... that Mr Pritam Singh was advising her to continue to lie, should the matter come up the next day during the parliamentary session.

"Mr Pritam Singh did not ask Ms Khan to clarify and state the truth in Parliament," said the committee.

"To the contrary, Ms Khan was advised that she can continue to lie."


On Oct 4, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam had asked Ms Khan to provide more details about the alleged incident, saying the police had since checked their records and found no cases that fit her description.

In reply, Ms Khan maintained that her account was true but repeatedly declined to reveal any further details – including the police station they went to – citing confidentiality. She added that she had not been successful in contacting the victim.

On the same day, Ms Khan met Mr Singh and Ms Lim at the Leader of the Opposition’s office in Parliament, where the three discussed the matter.

“Neither Mr Pritam Singh nor Ms Sylvia Lim asked Ms Khan why she had lied again earlier, in answering questions asked by the Minister for Home Affairs,” said the report. “Nor did they suggest that Ms Khan clarify the truth in Parliament.”


Ms Khan was also directed by Mr Singh and Ms Lim to ignore requests by the police for information, after the authorities sent her an e-mail on Oct 7 asking her to assist with investigations into the case she had raised.

The two WP leaders told Ms Khan that the police could not compel her to speak to them.

When asked whether she was concerned that she was ignoring a legitimate request from the police, Ms Khan told the committee that she was, but that she had been unsure about what to do.

"I was concerned, but I was not sure what to do. When I asked for advice, that was the advice that was given to me (by Mr Singh and Ms Lim)," said Ms Khan.


On Oct 12, Ms Khan attended a meeting called by Mr Singh. At the meeting, which Ms Lim also attended, the three discussed the matter and came to the view that the matter would not be dropped and was not going away. As such, Ms Khan should come clean and tell the truth.

“At this meeting, Ms Khan asked if disciplinary action will be taken against her and the answer given to her was no,” said the report.

Ms Khan then made a statement in Parliament on Nov 1, clarifying that she had lied on Aug 3 and on Oct 4.

In her evidence to the committee, Ms Khan said she was “shocked and surprised” to learn that the WP had formed a disciplinary panel the next day to look into her lies to Parliament.

She went before this disciplinary panel on Nov 8 and on Nov 29.


Ms Khan told the Committee of Privileges that she would have come clean to Parliament in October and assisted police in their inquiries and told them the truth if the WP leadership had told her to do so.

“She had done neither because they had told Ms Khan that there would be no judgment if she did not clarify the truth in Parliament,” said the report.

She took that to mean that she should continue to lie.”

The committee also asked Ms Khan about Mr Singh’s statement at the WP press conference that she would be expelled from the party if she did not resign of her own accord.

Ms Khan said this was not said to her. The WP leaders had suggested she resign for her well-being and because she had lost the support of her fellow Sengkang GRC MPs, she added.

























Aide, volunteer say Workers' Party leaders were not upfront about being told Raeesah Khan lied in Parliament
By Tham Yuen-C, Senior Political Correspondent, The Straits Times, 4 Dec 2021

Unlike what the Workers' Party leaders have claimed, former Sengkang GRC MP Raeesah Khan was not the sole actor in allowing her lie in Parliament to go uncorrected, two party members told a Parliament committee looking into the matter.

In fact, the leaders had asked her to "take the information to the grave", and by not being transparent about their own role, they have been highly unfair to the erstwhile MP, Ms Loh Pei Ying and Mr Yudhishthra Nathan added.


Ms Loh, who was Ms Khan's secretarial assistant, and Mr Yudhishthra, a WP member assisting Ms Khan, were testifying before Parliament's Committee of Privileges.

The committee on Friday (Dec 3) night released a special report on its investigation into Ms Khan's conduct, including video testimonies of Ms Khan, Ms Loh and Mr Nathan recorded over two days of hearings on Thursday and Friday.

Ms Loh has been a party member for 10 years and was WP chief Pritam Singh's secretarial assistant. Mr Nathan has been a volunteer since 2013, became a member in 2016 and had been in the council of the WP youth wing.

They corroborated Ms Khan's testimony to the committee that WP leaders had asked her not to confess about having lied. Both knew by Aug 7 that what Ms Khan said in Parliament on Aug 3 was not truthful after she confessed to them.


Ms Loh said she was assuaged that the party's leaders knew that Ms Khan had lied in Parliament. However, she soon realised they wanted Ms Khan to batten down and keep to her untruthful story, instead of coming clean to the House, she said.

When Ms Khan again repeated her lie in Parliament on Oct 4, Ms Loh said she was shocked and was scared for her. It turned out that Mr Singh had met Ms Khan a day earlier to talk about it, and indicated that he would leave it to her to decide if she wanted to tell the truth in Parliament. He also told Ms Khan that he would not judge her. This was related to Ms Loh and Mr Nathan by Mr Singh, during a meeting on Oct 12.

Asked about the matter by the committee, Ms Loh said she was disappointed with what Mr Singh had said to Ms Khan. Mr Nathan said he felt Mr Singh had been rather indecisive.


When the party set up a disciplinary panel to look into Ms Khan's conduct on Nov 2, both Ms Loh and Mr Nathan were shocked, given the role the leadership had played.

Ms Loh said she felt the panel composition - Mr Singh, Ms Sylvia Lim and Mr Faisal Manap - was self-serving, as they were the very people who had advised Ms Khan on what to do and played a part in allowing the matter to drag on.

Mr Nathan felt any inquiry should have been done earlier, since the panel's members already knew of Ms Khan's lies since Aug 8.

He added the panel had contributed to an uninformed, biased and jaundiced view of the incident, because it had invited WP members and volunteers to give their views on the incident without revealing that Ms Khan had acted with the guidance of the senior WP leaders now making up the panel.


Eventually, Ms Loh and Mr Nathan met the panel on Nov 25, and told the three WP leaders they should give the public a full account of what had happened. They said not disclosing the full events would be highly unfair to Ms Khan.

Ms Loh told the Parliament Committee what Mr Singh had said on Thursday was not completely true.

"Ms Khan's mistake and the extent of her mistake is lying in Parliament on three occasions. But beyond that she is not a sole actor in how things transpired, and when she could, when she felt the need to come clean, she had informed leadership of the matter," she said.

"In case anyone thinks I am coming in with an agenda, I just want to clarify that I've been a member of WP for 10 years and I've given the cause a reasonable amount of my personal time and my youth."


Tearing up, she added: "I'm very aware of the ramifications of what I've shared... it pains me greatly. But to me, beyond anything else, it's important to be truthful to my country. I'm genuinely very afraid of what will happen after."













Raeesah Khan's testimony to parliamentary committee: Timeline of events since August 2021
By Rei Kurohi, The Straits Times, 4 Dec 2021

Former Workers' Party (WP) MP Raeesah Khan on Thursday (Dec 2) told a parliamentary committee that she would have admitted to lying in Parliament and assisted the police in their investigation if the WP leadership had told her to do so.

She said she did neither because WP chief Pritam Singh, party chairman Sylvia Lim and vice-chairman Faisal Manap had told her there would be "no judgment" if she did not tell the truth during the Parliament sitting in October.

The WP leaders had also told her, in early August, that she should keep to her lie and there was no need for her to tell the truth, she said.

Here is a timeline of the events, according to the testimony of Ms Khan and other WP members before the Committee of Privileges. The committee presented a special report to Parliament on Friday (Dec 3).

Aug 3

During a debate on a motion about empowering women, Ms Khan said she had accompanied a rape survivor to a police station to make a police report three years prior.

She said the 25-year-old woman came out of the police station crying, because the police officer had allegedly made comments about her dressing, and the fact that she had been drinking.

Ms Khan declined to provide more details when asked, saying she did not wish to re-traumatise the victim.

Between Aug 3 and Aug 7

Ms Khan spoke to WP member Yudhishthra Nathan.

Aug 7

Ms Khan spoke to Mr Singh and told him she had lied in her Aug 3 speech.



Aug 8

Ms Khan met Mr Singh, Ms Lim and Mr Faisal at Mr Singh's house.

She said the trio reacted with "incredible disappointment" and anger, but also compassion, when she told them her Aug 3 statement was false.

According to Ms Khan, they advised her that the best thing to do would be to "retain the narrative". She said the leaders had decided they would keep the lie in place if Ms Khan were not pressed on it, as there would be no need to "clarify the truth".

After the meeting, Ms Khan sent a text message to Mr Nathan and her secretarial assistant Loh Pei Ying, saying: "Hey guys, I just met Pritam, Sylvia and Faisal. And we spoke about the Muslim issue and the police accusation. I told them what I told you guys, and they've agreed that the best thing to do is to take the information to the grave. They also suggested that I write a statement to send out this evening."

Ms Khan subsequently released a statement on Facebook on the Muslim issues that her message referred to.

Aug 10

Ms Loh and Mr Nathan met Mr Singh about a separate matter. Mr Singh confirmed that he knew Ms Khan had lied in Parliament.

Ms Loh said she expected the problems to be sorted out as senior party leaders were aware of the truth.

Oct 3

Mr Singh visited Ms Khan at her home, and told her he expected her to be pressed on her lie in Parliament the next day. According to Ms Khan, her understanding of their conversation was that there would be no judgment from him if she were to "continue" or "retain" the narrative.



Oct 4

Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam asked Ms Khan to provide details of the incident, and said the police had not found any cases that fit her description.

Ms Khan said her account was true but repeatedly declined to reveal any further details, citing confidentiality concerns.

Mr Shanmugam said the police would continue to investigate the matter and interview Ms Khan about the case.

Ms Khan later met Mr Singh and Ms Lim at his office to discuss what the next steps should be.

She said there was no discussion about why she did not comply with any instruction or order from Mr Singh to clarify the truth, contrary to his account of events at a WP press conference on Thursday (Dec 2).

Oct 7

Ms Khan sought advice from Mr Singh and Ms Lim when she received an e-mail from the police for an interview.

According to her, they directed her to not respond and ignore the request, as the police could not compel her to speak to them.

Ms Khan said she was concerned about giving a statement to the police, as opposed to making a clarification in Parliament where she would have parliamentary privilege.

Oct 12

Ms Khan told Ms Loh and Mr Nathan she would admit and clarify the false statements in Parliament.

She also met Mr Singh and Ms Lim. She said the two WP leaders had, by then, come to the view that the matter would not be dropped. After some discussion, it was decided that Ms Khan should come clean and tell the truth.

She also said she was told there would not be any disciplinary action taken against her.

At around 8pm, Ms Loh and Mr Nathan met Mr Singh at his home.

Oct 20

The police said they could not identify the case despite an extensive search, and that Ms Khan had not responded to two requests for an interview.

Nov 1

Ms Khan clarified in Parliament that she had lied on Aug 3 and Oct 4.



Nov 2

The WP formed a disciplinary panel to look into the matter, a move that Ms Khan said "shocked and surprised" her.

Nov 8

Ms Khan appeared before the WP panel. She also requested to meet the panel again on Nov 29 to talk about her performance as an MP.

Nov 29

At a meeting, Mr Singh and Ms Lim suggested to Ms Khan that she should resign, for her well-being and because she no longer had the support of her fellow Sengkang GRC MPs.

Nov 30

Ms Khan resigned from the WP. Before that, the panel presented its recommendations to the WP central executive committee, which voted unanimously that Ms Khan should resign of her own accord, or be expelled.



Dec 2

WP held a press conference. Shortly after, Ms Khan appeared before the Parliamentary Committee of Privileges to give evidence. Ms Loh and Ms Khan's legislative assistant, Mr Mike Lim Hang Ling, also appeared before the committee.

Dec 3

Ms Khan and Ms Loh appeared before the committee again. Mr Nathan also appeared before the committee.










3 key areas Raeesah Khan's testimony differs from Workers' Party chief Pritam Singh's account
By Rei Kurohi, The Straits Times, 4 Dec 2021

Further questions have been raised about the incident involving former Sengkang GRC MP Raeesah Khan lying in Parliament, after she and other Workers' Party members gave evidence to a parliamentary committee on Thursday (Dec 2) and Friday.

Ms Khan told the Committee of Privileges chaired by Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin that senior WP leaders Pritam Singh, Sylvia Lim and Faisal Manap had advised her to stick to the lie she had told in Parliament on Aug 3.

This was among a number of revelations contained in a special report that the committee presented to Parliament on Friday.

Here are three key areas where differences arose between what Ms Khan and the other WP members told the committee and what Mr Singh said during a press conference on Thursday.

1. On the WP disciplinary panel and Ms Khan's resignation

Mr Singh told the media that the WP central executive committee (CEC) on Nov 2 had agreed to form a disciplinary panel to "look into the admissions made by Raeesah Khan" the day before.

The CEC later deliberated the panel's recommendations and "voted overwhelmingly" that Ms Khan would have been expected to resign, or she would be expelled, he said.

Ms Khan, as well as WP members Ms Loh Pei Ying and Mr Yudhishthra Nathan, told the Committee of Privileges that they were surprised when the party formed the panel.

Ms Khan said that when she met Mr Singh and Ms Lim on Oct 12, she asked if the party would take any disciplinary action against her and was told it would not.

She further said she had not been told that she would be expelled if she did not resign.

When she met the panel on Nov 29, it was suggested that she resign for her own well-being, and because she had "lost the support" of her fellow Sengkang GRC MPs, she said. Ms Khan resigned the next day.


Ms Loh noted that the panel - comprising party chief Mr Singh; Ms Lim, the WP chairman; and Mr Faisal, the WP vice-chairman - had known since Aug 8 that Ms Khan had lied in Parliament on Aug 3.

The WP's statements on Nov 1 and 2 omitted mention of the party leaders' knowledge of and involvement in the matter, she said, adding that the panel should have disclosed this at an early stage.

Ms Loh also testified that Mr Singh and Ms Lim had both given Ms Khan comments on drafts of her Nov 1 statement, in which she admitted to lying.



2. On why WP leaders did not urge Ms Khan to come clean sooner

During the WP press conference, Mr Singh said Ms Khan had initially "stuck to her untruth" in her communication with him after the Aug 3 sitting.

She then disclosed a number of new facts and "disturbing personal revelations" after being repeatedly pressed, he added. These included her past sexual assault and "other related matters of a deeply personal nature".

Mr Singh explained that his immediate concern, when he learnt that Ms Khan had lied, was the fact that she had not informed her family members about her past sexual assault.

He said he wanted to give her time to address the matter with her loved ones, and that it was made known to Ms Khan before the October sitting that it would be her responsibility to make any clarifications in Parliament.


Ms Khan said she met Mr Singh, Ms Lim and Mr Faisal on Aug 8, and that the trio reacted with "incredible disappointment" and anger, but also compassion, when she told them her Aug 3 statement was false.

"The reaction was that if I were not to be pressed, then the best thing to do would be to retain the narrative that I began in August," she told the committee.

To this, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong - a committee member - asked Ms Khan if this meant that "if you can get away with it, we don't have to clarify the lie".

Ms Khan replied that this was correct.

Mr Tong then asked if the WP leaders' initial reaction upon being told there was a lie "was to try and duck the issue if possible. And if it doesn't come up, then the truth may not be told eventually".

In response, Ms Khan said: "I have to say, though, that Pritam Singh's initial response was that I should go to the Committee of Privileges. But after discussions and me explaining the circumstances that led me to the information in the first place, that changed."

At a subsequent meeting at her house on Oct 3, she said Mr Singh told her there would be no judgment from him if she were to "continue" or "retain" the false narrative. She interpreted this as advice to continue to lie if the matter was raised the next day.

Ms Khan repeated the lie in Parliament on Oct 4. At the press conference, Mr Singh had said this was "wholly inconsistent with the revelations she had shared with the party leadership" in August.

But Ms Khan said she met Mr Singh and Ms Lim afterwards to discuss the next steps, and neither asked her why she had lied again, nor did they advise her to tell the truth.

She also disputed Mr Singh's account that she and the party leaders had agreed that she had to set the record straight "almost immediately" after Parliament adjourned on Oct 5.

The decision to do so was reached only on Oct 12, during a meeting with Mr Singh and Ms Lim, when the WP leaders came to the view that the matter would not be dropped, she said.



3. On the vetting process for MPs' speeches

Mr Singh said WP has a usual pre-parliamentary process, and Ms Khan was notified that she should be ready to substantiate her account that she had followed the sexual assault survivor to the police station.

He said the process "did not fail" and that the "alarm" had gone off, but Ms Khan failed to take heed of that instruction.

In her testimony, Ms Khan said the WP's rule is that speeches should be submitted to an internal portal that all its current MPs can access, ahead of the sitting at which it is to be delivered. MPs can then leave comments on each other's speeches.

But Ms Khan's speech for the Aug 3 debate on empowering women was submitted late. She said she uploaded a draft two days before the sitting, instead of a week before, as she should have.

The initial draft did not contain the anecdote about her accompanying the survivor to the police station. She added this just a day before the sitting.

Ms Khan said Mr Singh commented on the draft by circling the anecdote and writing "substantiate?", but she did not understand what he meant. She also did not reply to the comment.

She said Mr Singh later expressed disappointment with the fact that she had not understood his comment or placed importance on it.

Besides the anecdote, Ms Khan said she had discussed the contents of the speech, including portions that touched on religious issues such as female genital mutilation and Muslim marriages, with Mr Singh and Mr Faisal.



















Allegations at Parliament committee hearing rock Workers' Party members, party leaders say they will respond
By Tham Yuen-C, Senior Political Correspondent, The Straits Times, 5 Dec 2021

A day after revelations at a Parliament committee hearing rocked the Workers' Party (WP), lines were drawn among party members, with views divided on the culpability of WP leaders in the saga involving former Sengkang GRC MP Raeesah Khan.

Right after the Committee of Privileges released a special report and nine hours of video recordings over two days of its sessions with Ms Khan and WP members, former Non-Constituency MP Daniel Goh took to Facebook to express anguish and anger at the developments.

The committee heard from Ms Khan, her former secretarial assistant Loh Pei Ying, and party member Yudhishthra Nathan on Thursday (Dec 2) and Friday (Dec 3) that WP chief Pritam Singh, party chair Sylvia Lim and party vice-chair Faisal Manap had known early on about Ms Khan's lie in Parliament on Aug 3 about having accompanied a rape victim to make a police report.

But contrary to what the party had said at a press conference on Thursday, that Ms Khan had been pressed to confess, the trio who gave evidence before the committee said party leaders had asked Ms Khan to continue with the lie.


Associate Professor Goh, who declined to comment for this article, said on Facebook on Friday that "my political party imploding with an own goal that keeps scoring" and this had kept him awake.

On Friday night, he said: "I have been crying for the past hour seeing two of our best members, super dedicated young persons who gave so much to the party without any benefit, completely terrified but so incredibly incredibly brave in speaking the truth in front of the (Committee of Privileges)."

He was referring to Ms Loh and Mr Nathan, both long-time WP members who started volunteering for the party in their youth and have featured prominently in party activities.

Prof Goh had been openly critical of how the party's leaders had handled the matter, earning him a public rebuke from Mr Singh at the press conference.


On Saturday, more WP members, typically reticent and wary of openly criticising the party, joined him in expressing disappointment with party leaders, with some privately hoping that former party leader Low Thia Khiang would come back to lead.

But other party members and volunteers had also questioned the credibility of Ms Khan, whom they pointed out had lied several times in Parliament.

Besides, the party's leaders had not yet given their testimony at the committee's hearings, they said.


In a Facebook post, former Non-Constituency MP Yee Jenn Jong posted an abstract painting by his wife which he called Rising Above The Storm, and said: "There may be dark clouds and storms but the sun will rise again."

He added: "In any case, I prefer to wait and listen to different sides of a story before jumping to any conclusions. The sitting is not over but there seems to be a rush to publish as if all that is to be said is out already."


The committee had released a special report late on Friday night, and the Clerk of Parliament said it was based on oral evidence it had heard over the first two days of hearings.

Under Parliament's standing orders, the committee can - at any time during its proceedings - make a special report on any matter it thinks fit to bring to Parliament's notice, the clerk pointed out.

The report included a summary of evidence heard by the committee, which is chaired by Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin.


The Clerk of Parliament said the committee will continue to investigate the complaint and hear further evidence, with its meeting adjourned till tomorrow.

The release of the special report led some to question the committee's motive, with some saying it should have released the report only when it had heard from both sides. A vote was taken before the special report was released, and the committee had voted seven to one, with only WP Hougang MP Dennis Tan voting against it.

Mr Tan also voted against the release of the video recordings.


For now, the WP has remained silent, except for a short SMS that was blasted out to members in English and Mandarin, saying: "The party would like to assure all of you that the allegations made at the Parliament Committee of Privileges will be responded to in due course."

The party's leaders and remaining three Sengkang GRC MPs have not responded to requests for comments.


































Workers' Party leaders told by Raeesah Khan in August 2021 she had lied in Singapore's Parliament, decided to give her 3 months to deal with matter, says Pritam Singh 4 months later in December 2021

Raeesah Khan resigns from Workers' Party 4 months after lying about a sexual assault case in Parliament

Why did it take so long for Raeesah Khan and the Workers' Party to tell the truth?
By Hariz Baharudin, The Straits Times, 2 Dec 2021

Leaders of the Workers' Party (WP) were told by their MP Raeesah Khan that she had lied in Parliament, about a week after she made false statements about a sexual assault case in a speech on Aug 3.

But the party leaders decided to give her time to deal with the matter because she had also told them she had been a sexual assault victim herself, and had not told her family about it, WP chief Pritam Singh said on Thursday (Dec 2).


At the next session of Parliament that she was able to attend, in October, Ms Khan was supposed to clarify the matter. But she did not and, in fact, repeated untruths that were wholly inconsistent with the revelations she had shared with the WP leaders - Mr Singh, chair Sylvia Lim and vice-chair Faisal Manap.


Speaking at a press conference two days after the WP announced Ms Khan's resignation from the party and as an MP, Mr Singh said he had asked her to make her best efforts to contact the victim or to contact the individuals involved in the sexual assault case in August after she gave her speech.

"Initially, Raeesah stuck to her untruth in her communication with me," said Mr Singh at the press conference, held at the WP headquarters in Geylang.

"After being repeatedly pressed, a number of new facts and disturbing personal revelations were disclosed. These concerned Raeesah's sexual assault, an event which was unknown to the party leadership at that time, and other related matters of a deeply personal nature."


He was immediately concerned about the fact that Ms Khan's own family was not aware of her sexual assault, which had traumatised her. It was important for the family to be told about this before Ms Khan could fully address the reasons behind her untruthful conduct in Parliament, he added.

"In view of her sexual assault and my assessment of the scale of her state of mind, I was prepared to give her the space necessary to address the matter with her loved ones," he said.

Mr Singh, who is Leader of the Opposition, added that after her admission to the WP leaders, Ms Khan came down with a case of shingles and could not attend the Parliament sitting in September.

But it was nonetheless made known to her before the sitting in October that any parliamentary clarification of this matter was supposed to be in her capacity as an elected MP, said Mr Singh.


Ms Khan had in her August speech said she had accompanied a 25-year-old rape victim to a police station to make a police report, and that the officer who interviewed the victim had made inappropriate comments about the victim's dressing and the fact that she was drinking. But Ms Khan never accompanied the victim to a police station.

Ms Khan later admitted that the victim had shared the account in a support group for women, which Ms Khan herself was in, and said she did not have the victim's consent to share the story.

When questioned in Parliament on Oct 4 by Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam - who said the police had checked their records and found no cases that fit Ms Khan's description - Ms Khan declined to provide details, saying she did not want to re-traumatise the victim.


She also said she had not been successful in contacting the victim. In response, Shanmugam said that police would interview Ms Khan. The police later said she did not turn up for an interview despite requests to provide case details.

Mr Singh said that almost immediately after the Oct 4 sitting, Ms Khan agreed with the party leadership that she had to set the record right. The next opportunity to do so was on Nov 1, when she revealed that she had lied.

With Mr Singh at the press conference on Thursday were Ms Lim and Sengkang GRC team leader He Ting Ru. They were later joined by the other Sengkang GRC MPs - Associate Professor Jamus Lim and Mr Louis Chua - and Mr Faisal. Ms Khan was not present.



Ms Khan was referred to Parliament's Committee of Privileges for a breach of parliamentary privilege following the admission. It will continue its work into Ms Khan's case.

On Nov 2, the WP announced that it had also formed a disciplinary panel to look into the admissions made by Ms Khan. The panel comprised Mr Singh, Ms Lim and Mr Faisal.

On Thursday, Mr Singh said WP leaders had "voted overwhelmingly" to ask Ms Khan to resign even before she decided to do so.

He added that she would have been expelled from the party if she had failed to step down.


As it turned out, Ms Khan informed him of her intention to resign on Tuesday afternoon, shortly before the party central executive committee met to discuss the matter.

Ms Khan was voted into Parliament in the July 2020 General Election as part of the four-member WP team contesting Sengkang GRC.

Her resignation means that the group representation constituency will now have three MPs: Ms He, Prof Lim and Mr Chua.

Ms Lim, the party chairman, said there will not be a by-election in Sengkang GRC as the constituency's three remaining MPs will continue to serve for the remainder of the term.

Under the law, there is no stipulation to hold a by-election for a GRC if a team member resigns. A by-election is needed only if all the MPs for the GRC vacate their seats.

Apologising to the residents of Sengkang and all victims of sexual assault, Mr Singh said that public trust and confidence in its sitting MPs are fundamental to the ethos of the WP.

"Singaporeans have the right to expect the best efforts from Workers' Party MPs and we should never take their faith, trust and confidence in us for granted," he said.











Timeline of events

Aug 3: During a parliamentary debate on empowering women tabled by the WP, Ms Raeesah Khan relates how she had accompanied a 25-year-old rape victim to a police station to make a police report three years ago. The officer who interviewed the victim had allegedly made inappropriate comments about her dressing and the fact that she was drinking, says the MP.

About a week after Aug 3: WP chief Pritam Singh asks Ms Khan to contact the victim or the individuals involved in the sexual assault case, as well as to provide the necessary information to Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan, who had sought more details on the matter in Parliament. She repeats her untruths at first, then eventually reveals to Mr Singh new facts and “disturbing personal revelations”, including her sexual assault.

Mr Singh says her family should be told about this before she can fully address the reasons for her untruthful conduct in Parliament.


September: Ms Khan has shingles and does not attend Parliament. She is told by the party some time in September that she would have to set the record straight in the House.


Oct 4: Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam tells Parliament police have checked their records and found no cases that fit Ms Khan’s description. He says such allegations are taken very seriously and presses her for details. She declines, saying she did not want to re-traumatise the victim. She also says she had not been successful in contacting the victim. In response, Mr Shanmugam said the police would interview Ms Khan. She eventually did not turn up for the interview. Almost immediately after the sitting, Ms Khan agrees with the party leadership that she has to set the record right.


Oct 5: Parliament happens but nothing happened




Nov 1: Ms Khan reveals in Parliament that she had lied. She is referred to Parliament’s Committee of Privileges for a breach of parliamentary privilege following the admission.


Nov 2: The WP announces that it had also formed a disciplinary panel to look into the admissions made by Ms Khan. The panel comprised Mr Singh, WP chair Ms Sylvia Lim and vice-chair Mr Faisal Manap.


Nov 30: Ms Khan resigns from the WP, which also means that she has resigned from her position as a Sengkang GRC MP. The party, in a statement on her resignation, says it will hold a press conference in two days to provide more information on the matter and to share its plans for Sengkang residents.


Dec 1: The Clerk of Parliament's Office says that the Committee of Privileges looking into the complaint against Ms Khan for lying in Parliament will continue with its work.


Dec 2: WP gives more details of Ms Khan’s actions at its press conference. It also says that Sengkang GRC will proceed as a three-man GRC.










Why did it take so long for Raeesah Khan and the WP to tell the truth?
By Grace Ho, Opinion Editor, The Straits Times, 2 Dec 2021

When news of Workers' Party MP Raeesah Khan's resignation pinged its way through Singaporeans' mobile phones late on Tuesday night (Nov 30), there was an air of inevitability, like a sigh at the end of a conversation that had gone on for too long.

WhatsApp messages such as "as expected" and "she self-pwned (self-destructed)" lit up my phone.

For the uninitiated, the story goes like this: A young woman said she accompanied a rape victim to the police station years ago. A police officer allegedly made inappropriate comments about the victim's dressing and asked if she had been drinking.

Except that the young woman did not accompany the victim to the police station. They were actually in a support group.

The tall tale was spun on Aug 3, ironically, during a parliamentary motion on empowering women.

Three times on parliamentary record, over three months. When the house of cards finally came tumbling down on Nov 1 - the day Ms Khan admitted she lied - Singaporeans felt pwned.


The WP's press conference on Thursday (Dec 2) answered one thing weighing on people's minds: Will there be a by-election?

The answer is no. Ms Khan's Compassvale ward will be carved up so that it comes under each of the remaining three MPs.

An earlier theory - that Mr Faisal Manap could be mobilised from the neighbouring Aljunied GRC - did not come to pass.

What was less satisfyingly answered was why the WP leaders did not act on their early knowledge of the lie.

Very early on, apparently - about a week after she delivered the speech in August - the party leadership was informed, and only after party chief Pritam Singh pressed her for details.

As her own family was not aware of her assault and subsequent trauma, Mr Singh had given her time and space to address the matter personally before presenting the facts to the House.

I get that. But surely there was ample time to issue a statement of some sort, even if Ms Khan did not attend Parliament due to shingles in September.

The reason given by Mr Singh was that any parliamentary clarification on this matter was hers to make in her capacity as an elected Member of Parliament.

I understand that it is important to assume personal responsibility. But when questioned in Parliament on Oct 4, Ms Khan lied again.

The next earliest opportunity to clarify personally in Parliament was actually not on Nov 1 - nearly one month later, but the very next day, since the Parliament sitting lasted two days from Oct 4 to 5.

Was it not glaringly obvious by then that someone else in the party ought to have stepped in? Or did the party think it was perfectly fine for the police and other public servants to run in circles for another month - and amid an ongoing pandemic on top of that?


The WP central executive committee was ultimately right to vote overwhelmingly for Ms Khan to resign.

The incident would have been a millstone around the WP's neck - if Ms Khan were to remain in the chamber, the party would find it nearly impossible to hold its ground in any debate without having its integrity questioned.

But even then, its response on Thursday raised more questions than answers.

Background checks and work processes could also be tightened.

Before Ms Khan gave the speech in August, she was asked, in accordance with the party's pre-parliamentary processes, to be ready to substantiate her account in the event that she was questioned during the debate.

Going forward, perhaps the MPs should be instructed to footnote every claim involving another person, in every speech. Back it up with names, dates and times - although, of course, nothing involving human judgment is ever foolproof.

Given that just last year, the WP had publicly defended its own vetting process, as well as Ms Khan after her earlier brush with the police - two police reports were lodged against her for comments she made online on race and religion - now it just looks as if it has been pwned too.

The more fundamental question is this: What kind of character do Singaporeans expect their elected representatives to possess?

It is one thing to disagree on policies such as the scale of social spending, or to have misheard or miscommunicated while relaying a message. It is another to conjure up an encounter that did not exist, sully others' reputations in the process, and betray a survivor's confidence.

In his book Post-truth, author Lee McIntyre defines the term as the "contention that feelings are more accurate than facts, for the purpose of the political subordination of reality".

Post-truth has recombinant qualities. There is good old-fashioned lying. There is also dog-whistling, anger, jokes, and boasting.

But as a parliamentarian, stringing together one's desired narrative arc, irrespective of the facts, has real-life consequences: Time and resources were wasted in investigating Ms Khan's claims.

The three remaining Sengkang MPs are now left to pick up the pieces. And meanwhile, the party leaders were happy to let a lie go uncorrected for almost three months.

Ms Khan has been referred to as the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of Singapore politics, our equivalent of the activist American politician who became the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress. She, too, was our youngest elected MP and known for her "woke" credentials.

There is a place for politicians with such stripes in our evolving political landscape. But whichever flag they bear, being a politician requires discernment. It demands passion and temperance; outspokenness and forbearance.

And it demands honesty and a willingness to admit to mistakes quickly.

Perhaps Ms Khan forgot to see the world as it is, rather than the world she wanted it to be. Unfortunately for her, it wasn't a fiction she told only to herself but to the entire country.

Her lie flew too high; she fell to earth.













WP leaders should have acted earlier to set record straight: Observers
By Tham Yuen-C, Senior Political Correspondent, The Straits Times, 3 Dec 2021

Political observers on Thursday (Dec 2) described the Workers' Party's handling of Ms Raeesah Khan as a failure of leadership, after it emerged top party leaders had known about their MP's deceit for three months, but did not set the record straight and let the issue fester.

The episode could set back the WP's gains and undermine the standing of party chief Pritam Singh, some observers said.

Others, though, felt the WP had shown its sincerity to make things right by letting Ms Khan resign.

At a press conference on Thursday, Mr Singh revealed that Ms Khan had, a week after making a speech containing the falsehood on Aug 3, confessed to WP leaders that she had lied in Parliament. She had spoken about accompanying a rape victim to the police station and hearing inappropriate comments.

Mr Singh said the party did not act earlier as Ms Khan said she had been a victim of sexual assault herself, and he wanted to give her time to speak to her family about it. He added it was incumbent on her to clarify the matter in Parliament.

However, Associate Professor Eugene Tan from the Singapore Management University School of Law said Mr Singh, as Leader of the Opposition, had a higher duty to Parliament and to Singaporeans to do something.

Yet he sat by on Oct 4 when Ms Khan misled Parliament again after she was pressed by Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam for details so the police could look into the handling of the rape case.

"It is incredulous that given Ms Khan's repeated assault against the dignity of Parliament and victims of sexual crimes that the party still held the position that any clarification was Ms Khan's to make in her capacity as an elected MP," said Prof Tan. "This speaks to the breakdown of party discipline and perhaps suggests that the party leadership was hoping that the Ministry of Home Affairs would not pursue the matter further."

Ms Nydia Ngiow, managing director at strategic advisory consultancy BowerGroupAsia Singapore, said Thursday's revelations "could potentially set back the work that (former WP chief) Low Thia Khiang and other WP leaders had done to distinguish the party from the rest of the opposition".

She suggested there were ample opportunities for the party to step up to set the record straight.

Prof Tan said the party could have issued a statement stating Ms Khan had misled Parliament, given the gravity of the matter.


Allowing the issue to drag on had also negatively implicated a law enforcement agency, said National University of Singapore Associate Professor of Sociology Tan Ern Ser.

He said Ms Khan's repeated lies and the party's inaction led the police to deploy valuable time and resources to locate the case, and as more time elapsed, Ms Khan "went on to dig a deeper hole for herself".

However, NUS political science department's deputy head Bilveer Singh felt three months was a reasonable time frame. "The key is the party not standing by someone who did not tell the truth," he said.

He said political parties should not be expected to pay the price for a politician's mistake, adding the People's Action Party has survived the indiscretions of former MPs such as Mr Michael Palmer and Mr David Ong, who had to step down over extramarital affairs.

Prof Tan Ern Ser said Ms Khan's departure from the party shows the WP is sincere in putting its house in order. "I think Singaporeans are quite inclined to cut an opposition party of the WP's stature some slack, and since Raeesah has come clean and the party has promised to set things right, the WP would not be adversely affected by this episode," he added.


But with Parliament's Committee of Privileges still looking into the matter, some analysts said WP leaders could still face censure.

Ms Ngiow said: "Having the leaders knowingly decide to wait and let these mistruths drag on makes them seemingly complicit in what was originally thought to be just a misstep made by Raeesah."

Her view was shared by Prof Eugene Tan, who said since the party was "arguably complicit and deceitful", Mr Singh could end up being sanctioned by Parliament.

"MPs owe a duty to their constituents and their party but, above all, to Singapore and Singaporeans. In this sad debacle, it was about protecting the party first," he said.
















Workers' Party to review candidate selection, speech vetting process following Raeesah Khan incident
By Rei Kurohi, The Straits Times, 2 Dec 2021

The Workers' Party (WP) will review its candidate selection and vetting processes following the resignation of Ms Raeesah Khan, its chief Pritam Singh said on Thursday (Dec 2).

But the incident involving Ms Khan will not deter the party from fielding young and progressive candidates, he added.

"No candidate selection process can be fail-proof. We make our best efforts to select candidates who are committed to looking after residents and Singaporeans, and who as a whole can represent a wide spectrum of Singapore society," Mr Singh said at a press conference.

"As a pan-national party, and in view of the increasing diversity of our electorate, particularly the younger generation, I think we will have to continue to consider people from all walks of life."


The candidate selection process identifies individuals who are most likely to succeed and do well as MPs, and Ms Khan was assessed to be someone who could carry the responsibility faithfully when she was selected as a candidate, Mr Singh said.

Describing Ms Khan's recent conduct in Parliament as "inexplicable", Mr Singh added: "No selection process can eliminate the prospect of a candidate who has certain traits or characteristics that were not highlighted or were not raised initially, but the Workers' Party will undertake our best efforts to lower this prospect as best we can, while at the same time working to ensure that there's a diverse slate of candidates in concert with the increasingly diverse aspirations of Singapore society."

On the vetting process for MPs' parliamentary speeches, Mr Singh said Ms Khan was told to be ready to substantiate the anecdote she had included in her speech on empowering women.


Ms Khan on Aug 3 said she had accompanied a 25-year-old rape victim to a police station to make a police report, and alleged that the officer who interviewed the victim had made inappropriate comments about the victim's dressing and the fact that she had been drinking. But Ms Khan had never accompanied the victim to a police station.

Said Mr Singh: "She was put on notice to substantiate it, so the process did not fail in that regard. Why didn't she take heed of that instruction and why did she ignore it? That's not a question I can answer."

Other MPs from the party have previously reacted to the vetting process by adjusting and sharpening their arguments to make sure they are aware of what they say in Parliament, Mr Singh noted.
"I think the process is fine. The process is working, but of course with every lesson, it would be a disservice if you don't learn from it and so I think we've got to also always remember how important it is to be acute, specific and objective-oriented when we raise things in Parliament."

Mr Singh on Thursday also responded to comments made by WP cadre and former Non-Constituency MP Daniel Goh on Facebook.

Associate Professor Goh had written two posts about the incident involving Ms Khan, and on Wednesday said her resignation had left "many inconvenient questions for the WP leadership" unanswered.


Said Mr Singh: "Cadre members don't usually operate in the way (Prof) Goh did, but this is an internal party matter that we will look into."

In response, Prof Goh said he had every right as a citizen to give his views on matters of public concern.

"There was no special communication to members that made me more informed than an ordinary citizen. This is in line with party values," he told The Straits Times.

"If the party sees fit to censure or sack me for asking pertinent questions that makes for a leadership accountable to the public, then so be it," he said.

"It is a reflection on the leadership. By the way, I am not resigning," he added.







WP chief Pritam Singh prepared to give evidence to Parliament committee probing former MP Raeesah Khan
By Hariz Baharudin, The Straits Times, 2 Dec 2021

Workers' Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh said he is prepared to support the work of the parliamentary committee looking into the complaint against his party's former MP Raeesah Khan.

Mr Singh, who is Leader of the Opposition, said on Thursday (Dec 2) that the Committee of Privileges is a standing committee of Parliament. "If they call me in to give evidence or to share details with them, I will do so," he said at a press conference held at the WP headquarters in Geylang.

Ms Khan had on Tuesday resigned from the party, which also meant that she resigned from her position as an MP. She had earlier lied in Parliament about details of a sexual assault case that she had alleged was mishandled by the police.

On Wednesday, the Clerk of Parliament said the Committee of Privileges looking into the complaint against Ms Khan for lying in the House will continue with its work.


Ms Khan had said in her resignation letter to Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin on Tuesday that she would continue to assist the Committee of Privileges in its investigation into her breach of parliamentary privileges.

Leader of the House Indranee Rajah had raised an official complaint against Ms Khan for breaching parliamentary privilege after she had lied to the House multiple times, and asked for the matter to be referred to the Committee of Privileges.

The Parliament (Privileges, Immunities and Powers) Act regulates the conduct of MPs and other people in connection with its proceedings, and can summon any person to appear before the committee to give evidence at any time before the conclusion of its report.

It can also mete out punishments, which include a jail term not extending beyond the current session of Parliament, a fine of up to $50,000, suspension, a reprimand from the Speaker, or any combination of the above.

The Committee of Privileges will present its report to Parliament in due course.










Raeesah Khan resigns from WP and from position as Sengkang GRC MP following probe over admission of lying in Parliament
By Hariz Baharudin, The Straits Times, 1 Dec 2021

Sengkang GRC MP Raeesah Khan has resigned from the Workers' Party (WP), which also means that she has resigned from her position as an MP.

The WP announced this in a Facebook post on Tuesday night (Nov 30), saying its top leadership had met at 8pm to deliberate and decide on the recommendation of a disciplinary committee that had been formed to investigate Ms Khan’s admissions in Parliament.


Ms Khan, 27, had on Nov 1 admitted to lying in Parliament at an earlier sitting about details of a sexual assault case that she had alleged was mishandled by the police.

The matter was referred to a Committee of Privileges, which has begun its work into the complaint that she had lied in Parliament.

The WP said Ms Khan had, at 4.30pm on Tuesday, indicated to WP chief and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh her intention to resign from the party.

“She then attended the CEC meeting at 8pm and conveyed in person her intention to resign,” it added, referring to its Central Executive Committee.

The party said it will hold a press conference on Thursday to provide more information on the matter and to share its plans to ensure that Sengkang residents, particularly in Compassvale ward that Ms Khan had been responsible for, continue to be cared for and represented.


Ms Khan also posted on her social media accounts her letter of resignation as an MP, addressed to Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin.

She reiterated her apology to the House, to the people of Sengkang, and to her volunteers, and added that she would be spending more time with her family and on causes she is passionate about.

She added that she will assist with the Committee of Privileges.

Ms Khan was voted into Parliament in the July 2020 General Election as part of the four-member WP team contesting Sengkang GRC.

During a debate on empowering women brought by the WP on Aug 3, she told the House that she had accompanied a 25-year-old rape victim to a police station to make a police report three years ago. She had also said that the officer who interviewed the victim had allegedly made inappropriate comments about her dressing and the fact that she was drinking.

On Oct 4, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam asked her to provide more details about the alleged incident, saying the police had since checked their records and found no cases that fit Ms Khan’s description.

In reply, Ms Khan said her account was true but repeatedly declined to reveal any further details – including the police station they went to – citing confidentiality. She added that she had not been successful in contacting the victim.


On Nov 1, she admitted that she had not accompanied the victim to the police station. Instead, she said the victim had shared the account in a support group for women, which Ms Khan herself was a part of, and that she did not have the victim’s consent to share the story.

She said she lacked the courage to admit she was in the support group, as she had been a victim of sexual assault at the age of 18.

Leader of the House Indranee Rajah said Ms Khan had lied to Parliament on three occasions, raised an official complaint against her for breaching parliamentary privilege, and asked for the matter to be referred to the Committee of Privileges.

Separately, the WP announced it had also formed a disciplinary panel to look into the admissions made by Ms Khan. The panel comprises Mr Singh, WP chair Sylvia Lim and vice-chair Faisal Manap.

Ms Khan’s resignation means that Sengkang GRC will now have three MPs: Ms He Ting Ru, Associate Professor Jamus Lim and Mr Louis Chua.

However, under the law, there is no stipulation to hold a by-election for a GRC if a member of the team resigns. A by-election is needed only if all the MPs for the GRC vacate their seats.










# Best Actor nominee 1: Faisal Manap




Workers' Party (WP) leaders did not react to Raeesah Khan's confession, did not ask her to lie: WP vice-chairman Faisal Manap
Top leaders knew of Raeesah Khan’s lies but chose not to disclose to others in party: Faisal Manap
By Tham Yuen-C, Senior Political Correspondent, The Straits Times, 12 Dec 2021

Workers' Party (WP) vice-chairman Faisal Manap told a parliamentary committee that he and other party leaders had never asked Ms Raeesah Khan to continue with a lie she told in Parliament.

He conceded that it would be hard to understand why he, WP chief Pritam Singh and WP chair Sylvia Lim did not react after Ms Khan told them she had lied.

But he said they were overwhelmed after hearing about Ms Khan's sexual assault and their concern was for her well-being.

This account of what transpired between the WP leaders and Ms Khan was disclosed by Mr Faisal over six hours of hearings before the Committee of Privileges on Thursday (Dec 9). The committee released a special report summarising Mr Faisal's testimony on Saturday (Dec 11) night.

Mr Faisal told the committee that he had first heard about Ms Khan's lie at an Aug 8 meeting held in Mr Singh's house. The meeting involved Mr Faisal, Mr Singh, Ms Khan and Ms Lim.

Ms Khan confessed to them that she had lied about accompanying a rape victim to the police station in her Aug 3 speech in Parliament, and admitted she heard the anecdote at a support group.

She also revealed that she had been sexually assaulted at age 18 when studying in Australia, and broke down and cried, Mr Faisal told the committee.


Shedding more light on what the WP leaders had said and done at the meeting, Mr Faisal said he, Mr Singh and Ms Lim did not express anger at Ms Khan.

He added that Mr Singh did not indicate that Ms Khan should go before the committee, appointed by Parliament each term to look into any complaint about breach of parliamentary privilege. In fact, other than consoling and comforting Ms Khan about having been sexually assaulted, they did not discuss anything else about her lie in Parliament - not with her or among themselves.

Mr Singh asked her who else knew about the sexual assault, and she mentioned her then assistant, Ms Loh Pei Ying, party volunteer Yudhishthra Nathan, Ms Khan's therapist, and her husband. Ms Khan said her parents did not know about the assault.

So concerned was Mr Faisal, a former counsellor, that he had suggested to partner an asatizah or Islamic teacher to counsel Ms Khan, he said to the committee.

Asked by Culture, Community and Youth Minister Edwin Tong if the WP leaders had asked Ms Khan any questions about the lie, tell her what to do about it, discuss details or ask why it was untrue, Mr Faisal said: "Nothing, zero."

He said they were overwhelmed after hearing about Ms Khan's sexual assault, and a main concern was her well-being.

Instead, after Ms Khan had calmed down, Mr Faisal had brought up the issues of female genital cutting and polygamy that Ms Khan also covered in her Aug 3 speech, he said.

He wanted Ms Khan to put up a statement on Facebook since there was unhappiness among the Muslim community about her comments. Later that day, he also exchanged text messages with Ms Khan on what she should include in her post on the issues.


After that meeting, Ms Khan had sent Ms Loh and Mr Nathan a WhatsApp message saying that the WP leaders had discussed with her the lie in Parliament and the Muslim issues, and had asked her to "take the information to the grave".

Mr Faisal, during his testimony, said that everything in the WhatsApp message was true, except the part alleging that the leaders had asked her to keep quiet. He said Ms Khan was lying to her fellow members, but said he was perturbed about why she would do so and could not explain it.


Answering questions from the committee, Mr Faisal said he had been quite alarmed when he found out that Ms Khan had lied, because the lie would cause the public to have a bad impression of the police and was a serious matter.

"Sexual assault victims would also be worried about making a report to the police if they believed the anecdote was true," said the report, summarising his response.

He also agreed with the committee that given the nature of Ms Khan's untruth, even though he had been overwhelmed and very affected by what Ms Khan shared about her assault, he also had to apply his mind to her admission that she had lied, the special report said.

The report also said he accepted that it was bad to lie to Parliament and agreed that it was equally wrong to allow a lie to carry on in Parliament, acknowledging that keeping quiet could possibly amount to an offence.

But nonetheless, Mr Faisal said he had not discussed the matter with Ms Khan, Mr Singh or Ms Lim after the Aug 8 meeting, as he had left the WP chief to handle the matter because he trusted Mr Singh, having worked with him for more than 10 years in the WP.

He also believed that Mr Singh had the information to make the judgment call on the matter, and trusted Ms Khan to do the right thing, the special report said. "He accepted that it would have been logical for him to have checked with Mr Singh what was going on, after he found out that Ms Khan had repeated the untruth in Parliament on Oct 4, but he explained that he did not because he trusted Mr Singh and that was also the type of person he was - he did not go by mere logic."

The report also said Mr Faisal agreed that Ms Khan, as a young MP with barely a year in Parliament, was meeting with her most senior party leaders on Aug 8, and it would have been fair and reasonable for her to expect, going into the meeting, that she would get guidance from Mr Singh, Ms Lim and Mr Faisal about what to do on the issue.

"Mr Faisal agreed that it would be reasonable for Ms Khan to assume, from the Aug 8 meeting, that her senior party leaders were not concerned with the untruth she had told in Parliament, because they said nothing, made no comment and did not tell her what she should do," said the report.

"However, he felt that if Ms Khan had wanted guidance from him, Ms Lim or Mr Singh, she should have proactively asked them for guidance when they remained silent on the issue at the Aug 8 meeting. In Mr Faisal's view, Ms Khan was an adult and the mother of two children, and was not young."













Faisal Manap worried about Raeesah Khan's lies, but left matter to WP chief Pritam Singh: Report
By Hariz Baharudin, The Straits Times, 12 Dec 2021

While Workers' Party vice-chairman Faisal Manap knew allowing lies by Ms Raeesah Khan to go unaddressed in Parliament was a potential offence, he did not take action, as he felt it was a matter best left to party chief Pritam Singh.

The Committee of Privileges looking into Ms Khan's case said this in a second special report that it released on Saturday (Dec 11) night. It had released an earlier report of its investigation on Dec 3.


"Mr Faisal agreed that allowing a lie to perpetuate in Parliament was possibly an offence, and that could affect him, Mr Singh and (WP chairman Sylvia Lim) personally," said the committee, adding that as an MP, he also had a duty to ensure no untruth remained on record in Parliament.

But while Mr Faisal agreed it was important to clarify the lie Ms Khan told in Parliament on Aug 3 as soon as possible, to his mind, this was a matter for Mr Singh - who is Leader of the Opposition - to deal with, and the timing of when to have Ms Khan correct the record in Parliament would depend on Mr Singh's judgment, the committee said.

Mr Faisal had found out about Ms Khan's first lie on Aug 8, when he met her along with Mr Singh and Ms Lim.

The committee said Mr Faisal was very sure no draft statement or media post was prepared to clarify Ms Khan's untruth when Parliament sat in September. He did not pursue the matter with Mr Singh, Ms Lim or Ms Khan.

He had not expected the lie Ms Khan told about accompanying a rape victim to the police station to arise during the Oct 4 Parliament sitting, the report said.

Mr Faisal learnt about the exchange between Ms Khan and Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam - where she had repeated her lie - later that day, when he saw a media report about it on his mobile phone.

The committee said that Mr Faisal was "shocked and worried" when he learnt of this, and that he had appreciated that this was a serious problem for Ms Khan and the WP, given how she had lied twice in Parliament.

He was concerned that by that point, the party had to do something about the issue, noted the committee in its report.
"Mr Faisal did not check with Ms Lim, Mr Singh or any other CEC (central executive committee) member on what to do about Ms Khan's further falsehoods. This was because he trusted Mr Singh to resolve the issue. He also believed Ms Khan would do the right thing."

The committee said Mr Faisal accepted it would have been logical for him to have checked with Mr Singh about Ms Khan's repeated lies.

"But he explained that he did not because he trusted Mr Singh and that was also the type of person he was - he did not go by mere logic," said the report.

He had also agreed with the committee that Ms Khan's conduct in Parliament on Oct 4 was consistent with her account of what he, Ms Lim and Mr Singh had told her to do on Aug 8, which was to continue with her narrative and lie, if that account was true.

"The fact that there was no discussion at all between the WP MPs about Ms Khan's lie on Oct 4, or on the clarification of that lie, was consistent with Ms Khan's account of what happened on Aug 8, if it was true," said the report.

In its earlier report, the committee said that Ms Khan was told by WP leaders on Aug 8 that the best thing for her to do would be to keep to the lie she had made in Parliament on Aug 3.

The second report said Mr Faisal had sent Ms Khan a text message on Oct 5 to comfort and encourage her. It also said he agreed with the committee that he could have asked her then about clarifying her lies, given how they were in direct communication, but he did not do so.

"He agreed that his behaviour did not make sense nor were they logically acceptable. He admitted that it was illogical that even after Ms Khan had repeated the untruth on Oct 4, he (Mr Faisal) had not raised it with Ms Khan, when Mr Faisal met Ms Khan three days later, on Oct 7," said the report.

"He said that he did not raise the matter with Ms Khan about her untruth, because she neither raised the issue nor sought his guidance on it."

The report also said that on Oct 7, Ms Khan had sent to WP leaders a request she received from the police asking her for assistance, and that Mr Faisal agreed the request to Ms Khan was a fair one.

"Ms Khan told them about the police request, and informed them that she would consult a lawyer. Mr Faisal did not reply to Ms Khan. To his knowledge, neither did Ms Lim or Mr Singh," said the report.







WP CEC voted to expel Raeesah Khan over Parliament lie without full facts: Committee report
By Goh Yan Han, The Straits Times, 12 Dec 2021

The Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the Workers' Party voted in favour of former Sengkang GRC MP Raeesah Khan's expulsion - if she did not resign - without knowledge of the full facts about her lies to Parliament, the Committee of Privileges said in a second special report released on Saturday (Dec 11) night.

This included that Ms Khan had told party chief and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh, chairman Sylvia Lim and vice-chairman Faisal Manap on Aug 8 of her lie in Parliament on Aug 3.


The Workers' Party (WP) CEC made this decision on Nov 30 after an internal disciplinary panel (DP) convened by the party recommended it do so, having invited WP members to give their views on the matter before the DP.

But at no point did the DP inform the CEC of panel members' knowledge or involvement in Ms Khan's lies to Parliament, or disclose those facts to WP members, the Committee of Privileges said on Saturday.

The DP consists solely of the three senior party leaders, who had known in August about Ms Khan’s lie in Parliament. It was formed by the WP on Nov 2, a day after Ms Khan admitted in Parliament to lying about the details of a sexual assault case that she alleged was mishandled by the police.

Instead, Mr Faisal told the committee it was "not relevant" that the DP’s earlier knowledge of Ms Khan’s lie be made known to WP members, or to the CEC, when the DP made its recommendations to them.

"I do not find it relevant to bring it up to the discussion because that's not the role of the DP," he said.

Mr Faisal said the DP's recommendations were to be based on only what it had been told, and based on information it had gathered between Nov 8 and Nov 29 - the dates when the DP had first sat to receive evidence and when it had concluded hearing evidence.

After the DP was formed, there was no discussion between Mr Faisal and Ms Lim or Mr Singh whether their knowledge of what Ms Khan had told them should be part of the DP's report, said Mr Faisal.

None of the CEC members outside of those on the DP knew that Ms Khan had confessed to the three party leaders on Aug 8 about her lie, said Mr Faisal. This continued to be the case when the CEC met on Nov 30 to deliberate on the disciplinary panel's recommendations in respect of the actions to be taken against Ms Khan, it said.


Asked by National Development Minister Desmond Lee if the WP CEC only knew that Ms Khan had confessed her lie to senior WP leaders in August when the WP held a press conference on Dec 2, Mr Faisal said yes.

The DP had earlier asked WP members to come forward and give their views to party leaders on Ms Khan's actions.

Mr Faisal agreed that WP members who came forward to share their views would not have been able to give an informed view, if they did not know that Ms Khan had confessed to the three leaders on Aug 8, said the Committee of Privileges report.

Pressed repeatedly by Culture, Community and Youth Minister Edwin Tong if it was important for WP members to have been told the full facts - that Ms Khan had told senior party leadership back in August about her lie - so they could provide honest and unbiased opinions about the issue, Mr Faisal said: "Logically, yes. Fairness, yes. Need to uphold the fairness."

The special report said Mr Faisal "agreed that it would only be fair to Ms Khan and the integrity of the whole disciplinary process, for these members to know that Ms Khan had gone to the party leadership on Aug 8 and explained the matter fully, openly and transparently".

"The CEC voted in favour of Ms Khan's expulsion without knowledge of the full facts."

Mr Faisal agreed with the Committee of Privileges that it was wrong to allow a lie to carry on in Parliament, and that Mr Singh, Ms Lim and himself could be investigated as well, in this respect.

He also agreed that in general, a person could not make a recommendation on a matter that he himself had an interest in, but "in this context, I do not have any personal interest".

He said he did not feel that he was in a position of conflict of interest sitting on the DP.

The Committee of Privileges is investigating a complaint against Ms Khan, who subsequently resigned from the WP and her role as Sengkang GRC MP last month.










WP's Faisal Manap refuses to answer committee's question on his meetings with Pritam, Sylvia last week, despite reminders from the Committee of Privileges that refusing to answer its questions would amount to an offence and constitute contempt of Parliament
By Rei Kurohi, The Straits Times, 12 Dec 2021

Workers' Party (WP) vice-chairman Faisal Manap on Thursday (Dec 9) repeatedly declined to answer a question from a parliamentary committee looking into a complaint against former WP MP Raeesah Khan.

This was despite reminders from the Committee of Privileges that refusing to answer its questions would amount to an offence and constitute contempt of Parliament, said the committee in a special report released on Saturday (Dec 11).

During a hearing before the committee on Thursday, Mr Faisal was asked about the notes he had brought with him, including a note he had prepared on the sequence of events pertaining to Ms Khan's telling of falsehoods in Parliament.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong, who is a member of the committee, asked Mr Faisal if he had discussed the contents of the note with anyone.

Mr Faisal replied that he had met WP chief Pritam Singh and WP chairman Sylvia Lim in the two days before the hearing, on Tuesday and Wednesday, for two to three hours each time. He said that during these meetings, he had checked with them whether the dates in the note were correct.

Mr Tong then asked whether Mr Singh and Ms Lim had brought any other documents with them to the meetings.

Mr Faisal then questioned the relevance of Mr Tong's question.

"How is this relevant to the point we are talking about, Raeesah? What are you trying to imply, can you tell me directly?" he asked.

"I don't understand why you are asking about what transacted, what happened between the three of us when the discussion is now focusing on Ms Raeesah. I've already answered you about the purpose of me having these notes."

Mr Tong said the committee was trying to find out whether there were other relevant documents which it has not seen. He then repeated his question.

Mr Faisal replied that Mr Singh and Ms Lim would also be appearing before the committee and would answer the question themselves.

"I don't intend to answer that," he added.

Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, who chairs the committee, then reminded Mr Faisal that he had been called to assist the committee in understanding the full circumstances of the incident, and that Mr Singh and Ms Lim would also be asked the same questions.

"These are fair questions to ask, because you were part of the discussions. We are trying to understand whether there are documents, whether there are facts that we may not be aware of, that will shed more light," said Mr Tan.

Mr Tan also reminded Mr Faisal that he had an obligation to answer the committee's questions and that refusing to do so or attempting to mislead the committee would be an offence and constitute contempt of Parliament.

Mr Tong asked the question again several times, and also asked Mr Faisal to reconsider his decision not to answer the question.

"It is a very serious problem if you either prevaricate or refuse to assist this committee, so will you please reconsider?" asked Mr Tong.

Mr Faisal said he was concerned that he may inadvertently mislead the committee by answering the question, as he was "not privy" to what documents Mr Singh and Ms Lim had brought.

He said Mr Singh and Ms Lim had brought documents to the meetings, but he refused to answer questions about what those documents were and whether he knew what they were.

Mr Tong said he was asking the question in order to understand whether the evidence given by Mr Faisal was influenced by his discussions with Mr Singh and Ms Lim, or whether it was entirely his own recollection.

He noted that the evidence Mr Faisal had given the committee paints a picture of him having "little to no involvement" in the incident involving Ms Khan.

"I am trying to understand why. It strikes me that, as a senior member of the Workers' Party... someone in your position would have wanted to be interested in knowing what's going on with your party," said Mr Tong.

"What piqued my interest about your note and your construction of a sequence of events is, how is it that you don't really have much involvement in this, but could spend some time preparing a sequence of events?"

Mr Faisal replied that his notes were based on his own recollection. He also agreed to have his refusal to answer the questions placed on record.
















# Best Actor nominee 2: Pritam Singh





WP chief Pritam Singh denies telling Raeesah Khan to lie, but says he took no steps to correct untruth for 2 months
By Justin Ong, Political Correspondent, The Straits Times, 12 Dec 2021

Workers' Party (WP) chief and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh on Friday (Dec 10) told the Committee of Privileges that he had not directed former MP Raeesah Khan to lie, but took no steps from August to October to get her to correct her false statement.

According to a special report released on Sunday (Dec 12), the second this weekend and the third so far, Mr Singh told her to take ownership of the issue if it came up, and left it to her as it was her responsibility to do so.


"Mr Singh also said that if the matter did not get raised, then he… had no plans to voluntarily get the issue clarified, because it was Ms Khan's responsibility," the report said.

The WP chief also told the committee that he chose not to disclose her confession to party leaders or the public as he felt it was not important to do so. He also did not think much harm had been done to the police by the lie.

The report also disclosed that Ms Khan had sent Mr Singh a text message on Oct 4 asking what she should do, while Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam questioned her account in Parliament. Ms Khan repeated the lie in her response to the minister, and the committee raised questions about whether she was clear that he had wanted her to tell the truth, as he had said.


During a hearing over nine hours long, Mr Singh said "the truth of the matter" was that Ms Khan had been told to take responsibility and ownership of an untruth that ultimately led to her resigning from both party and Parliament.

The report said Mr Singh agreed that the issue the committee was investigating - Ms Khan's lie in Parliament about the details of a sexual assault case - was a very serious case.

Ms Khan, a first-term MP who resigned from the WP and as MP for Sengkang GRC on Nov 30, had admitted to fabricating details that implicated the police's handling of a sexual assault case, during a parliamentary speech on female empowerment on Aug 3.

But the report said Mr Singh did not specifically tell Ms Khan to clarify the truth at the next available Parliament sitting she attended, on Oct 4, even if the issue was not raised.

Based on Mr Singh's advice to Ms Khan to take ownership and responsibility, he had an expectation - as opposed to an understanding - that Ms Khan would clarify the truth, if the matter was raised, the report said.

And as Mr Shanmugam made a ministerial statement on Oct 4 on Ms Khan's anecdote, she sent Mr Singh a message, asking: "What should I do, Pritam?"

Mr Singh agreed that Ms Khan's message was completely at odds with his expectation to tell the truth if the matter came up, said the report.

He believed that telling her to take personal responsibility - and that he would not judge her if she did - meant that she knew that she had to tell the truth, if the matter came up.

"It is at odds with his understanding, because the matter did come up on Oct 4 and yet she was asking him for instructions on what she should do," the report said.

The report also noted that when told by the committee that Ms Khan's false allegation "painted a picture of the Police", Mr Singh denied that the police would be adversely impacted by such a lie.

Asked if it was "okay to have a lie in Parliament where the lie relates to the reaction of the Police, bad reaction… to a complaint by a sexual assault victim", Mr Singh replied that the police were not a "broken-back" organisation, the report added.

"He questioned the amount of work put in by the Police to check on the allegation," said the report. "Mr Singh also said that he didn't feel that a wrong had been done to the Police by Ms Khan's untruthful allegations against the Police."

In his testimony, Mr Singh also denied asking Ms Khan to take her untruth "to the grave", echoing WP vice-chairman's Faisal Manap's statement which was released the day before on Saturday (Dec 11).

Mr Faisal had also acknowledged it was hard to explain rationally why he, Mr Singh and chairman Sylvia Lim had not reacted sooner to set the record right, and that the trio had chosen not to disclose Ms Khan's act to other party leaders, even during disciplinary hearings into the matter.

Earlier, on Dec 3, the committee had issued a first report presenting Ms Khan's side of the story, where she alleged that WP leaders had advised her to keep up a lie that ultimately brought about her resignation from both party and Parliament.

Her account to the committee was at odds with the version of events laid out by WP leaders at a press conference on Dec 2. Then, Mr Singh said he had directed Ms Khan to take responsibility and own up to her lie in Parliament.

Mr Singh reiterated this in his testimony to the committee, according to the special report. It said that in August, after learning of the lie and giving Ms Khan time to deal with the matter and speak to her parents, he did not take any steps to speak with her to get the issue clarified during the next Parliament sitting in September.

"Mr Singh said it was Ms Khan's responsibility to speak to him about the matter, after she had settled things with her parents. He said that he was in no position to know when that would happen," the report said, adding that he had not checked with her if she had done so.

It noted that in October, Mr Singh told Ms Khan that if the issue were to come up in Parliament, she had "to take responsibility and ownership of the issue", and if she did so, he "will not judge" her.

Mr Singh also said that Ms Khan had to clarify the truth, even if the matter was not raised; though the report noted Mr Singh saying that if the matter did not come up, then Ms Khan would not need to.

The WP, Singapore's largest opposition party, has refrained from officially responding to the committee's reports, saying it would be only prudent to do so at an appropriate forum and juncture as the investigation is still ongoing.
















Pritam Singh says Raeesah Khan’s suggestion that he told her to lie is a 'complete fabrication'
By Justin Ong, Political Correspondent, The Straits Times, 12 Dec 2021

Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh has described former WP MP Raeesah Khan’s account that the opposition party’s leaders had told her to take her lie “to the grave”, as a “complete, utter fabrication” and a “bare lie”.

The WP chief had told her that if the issue came up in Parliament, she had to take “responsibility and ownership” and that he would not “judge” her if she did so.

Mr Singh had an expectation - as opposed to an understanding - that Ms Khan would clarify the truth if the matter was raised, said the Committee of Privileges report.


The COP report summarises evidence given by Mr Singh, who is Leader of the Opposition, to the committee in a hearing that lasted over nine hours on Friday (Dec 10). It is the third report amid an ongoing investigation into Ms Khan, a former Sengkang GRC MP who had fabricated details of a sexual assault case during a parliamentary speech on Aug 3.

According to Sunday’s report, Ms Khan had confessed over the phone to Mr Singh on Aug 7 that her anecdote of accompanying the victim to a police station “did not happen”.

“Mr Singh was very angry and upset when Ms Khan told him this, and ended the call,” the report said.

The next day, Mr Singh - along with party chairman Sylvia Lim and vice-chair Faisal Manap - met Ms Khan, who explained that she lied because she had undergone a traumatic episode as a serious sexual assault victim herself.

Everyone was shocked, sympathetic and more concerned about her well-being, and Mr Singh told Ms Khan: “We’ll have to deal with this issue, but speak to your parents first.”

He viewed that as a step she should take before coming clean in Parliament, said the report.
It noted that at this Aug 8 meeting, there was no substantive discussion on what to do about the lie, and Mr Singh did not direct Ms Khan to clarify her untruth.

According to Ms Khan’s account of the Aug 8 meeting to the committee, Mr Singh had asked her to take her lie “to the grave” - something she texted two other WP members a few minutes after.

On Friday, Mr Singh called this rendition “a complete, utter fabrication… a bare lie”.

Mr Singh and Ms Khan did not communicate about the incident for the next two months or so, until Oct 3.

During this period, Mr Singh did not check whether Ms Khan had spoken with her parents, nor did he discuss with her on setting out the truth at the next parliamentary sitting on Sept 13.

“Mr Singh said it was Ms Khan’s responsibility to speak to him about the matter, after she had settled things with her parents. He said that he was in no position to know when that would happen,” said the special report.

Ms Khan came down with the shingles and did not attend the September sitting.

Mr Singh and other WP leaders also did not take any steps among themselves to address the issue in those weeks.

“There were no attempts that could be construed as consistent with wanting Ms Khan to come forward and come clean. Mr Singh agreed that he did nothing at this point in time,” the report noted.

On Oct 1, while preparing for a debate on a law to counter foreign interference, Mr Singh e-mailed all WP MPs to advise them to substantiate any statements made in Parliament, or risk facing the Committee of Privileges.

The day before the Oct 4 Parliament sitting, Mr Singh visited Ms Khan and told her it was entirely possible that someone might then ask her about her Aug 3 anecdote, said the report.

Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam did so, making a ministerial statement asking Ms Khan for more details of her account.

The report noted Mr Singh telling Ms Khan that even if the matter was not raised, she should take ownership and responsibility and clarify the truth.

Mr Singh also said that at that point, if the matter did not come up, then he had no plans to voluntarily clarify the issue himself, because “this was something for Ms Khan to do”.

After their meeting, the WP’s decision-making central executive committee (CEC) was not informed that Ms Khan might admit to her lie in Parliament the next day.

The report said there was no draft of any possible Oct 4 statement prepared, and that Mr Singh did not know what Ms Khan was going to say.

In contrast, the lead-up to her Nov 1 statement - where Ms Khan admitted she had lied - had involved several discussions and input from Mr Singh and Ms Lim among others; with the WP CEC reviewing a draft.

According to the report, Mr Singh said that none of these steps were taken before the Oct 4 sitting because he was not sure whether the matter would come up - and if it did not come up, then Ms Khan may not have clarified.

When Ms Khan did stand up in the House to reply to Mr Shanmugam, it was to decline to give further details, citing confidentiality concerns, and to affirm - falsely - that her account was true.













'What should I do, Pritam?' WP chief testifies Raeesah Khan in 'dazed, distraught' state after repeating lie in Parliament
By Justin Ong, Political Correspondent, The Straits Times, 12 Dec 2021

When Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam pressed then Workers' Party (WP) MP Raeesah Khan in Parliament on Oct 4 to provide more details of her allegation of the police mishandling a sexual assault case, she texted her party chief this: "What should I do, Pritam?"

This emerged in Mr Pritam Singh's testimony to the Committee of Privileges investigating a lie told by Ms Khan in Parliament on Aug 3 - an untruth she would repeat in response to Mr Shanmugam in October, and which eventually led to her resignation as both WP member and MP on Nov 30.


Mr Singh recounted to the committee on Friday (Dec 10) that following Ms Khan's reaffirmation of her fabrication, she met him and WP chairman Sylvia Lim late that night and in a dazed, distraught state said: "Perhaps there is another way. That is, to tell the truth."

According to a special report and video footage released by the committee on Sunday (Dec 12), Mr Singh also agreed that if an MP is aware that a falsehood has been told to Parliament, the MP has an obligation to correct it, regardless of whether the lie came from that MP or not.

As leader of the opposition, he also had a duty to correct Ms Khan's lie, but Mr Singh argued: "The question is, at what time do I do it given the unique situation that concerns this falsehood?"

On Oct 3, the day before Mr Shanmugam's ministerial statement, Mr Singh said he had told her to take responsibility for her lie and that he would not judge her if she did. He believed this meant she knew she had to tell the truth if the matter was brought up, said the special report.

"It is at odds with his understanding, because the matter did come up on Oct 4 and yet she was asking him for instructions on what she should do," the report stated.

Mr Singh said he read Ms Khan's text only after her exchange with Mr Shanmugam had ended. He replied: "Will speak after sitting. Keep Chair and I posted."

"I think that's a very clear choice that she has made," Mr Singh told the committee.

"And this is going to lead her down a very negative path. And there's really nothing else for me to say - you have dug your own grave already by not telling the truth.

"And so that is the context of 'Will speak after sitting'," he added.

"It's quite clear that you have basically destroyed your own political career."

Mr Singh agreed that the issue the committee was looking into - an MP lying in Parliament - was a very serious matter, and that if a WP MP told a lie, the minimum expected was that they would have to correct it, and come forward with the truth.

When he and Ms Lim met Ms Khan that evening, she was distraught and he said: "What have you done?"

Ms Khan then said, with a dazed look in her eyes: "Perhaps there is another way. That is, to tell the truth".

Mr Singh replied: "But look at the choice you've made." He recalled that at that moment, Ms Khan completely broke down.

Mr Singh was very upset but also relieved that Ms Khan was making a point about honesty, and he saw this as her being now prepared to own up and tell the truth.

"In my point of view, the only reason why she had not told the truth was because she had not squared away the fact that her parents did not know what had happened," he told the committee, referring to her explanation that she had lied because of the personal trauma of being sexually assaulted.

Mr Singh said he saw no way that Ms Khan would have been able to come up with a clarifying statement, close the issue with her parents and make a personal explanation by the next morning's Parliament sitting.

The special report said that Mr Singh did not ask Ms Khan then whether she had spoken to her parents yet.

It also noted Mr Singh disagreed with the committee asking him if Ms Khan's words suggested that she was under the impression, until that point, not to tell the truth.

The next meeting between Mr Singh, Ms Lim and Ms Khan was on Oct 12, where Mr Singh wanted to discuss how to correct the lie in Parliament.

Mr Singh told the committee that Ms Khan had "turned around" then and was reluctant to make a personal explanation as she was not comfortable with it.

"I remember Sylvia getting very upset with her," said Mr Singh.

"I said: Look, this is something that has to be done, there's just no two ways about that."

Ms Khan eventually agreed and on Nov 1, delivered a statement in Parliament admitting she had lied and apologised to the police.







'Not relevant' for the public to know Workers' Party leaders' knowledge of Raeesah's lies: Pritam Singh
By Clement Yong, The Straits Times, 12 Dec 2021

Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh did not see it as relevant for the public to know that Workers' Party (WP) leaders knew about Ms Raeesah Khan's lie days after it was uttered in Parliament.

Instead, Mr Singh said he decided to call a press conference on Dec 2 and disclose this information because questions were going around about when and what WP leaders knew about Ms Khan's untruths, he told the Committee of Privileges when he gave evidence on Friday (Dec 10).

The Committee of Privileges released its third special report on its hearings on Sunday (Dec 12), which was centred on Mr Singh's evidence on Ms Khan's case.

Mr Singh held that party leaders' knowledge of the untruth in August was not important because "ultimately, this was about Ms Khan and her decision to lie in Parliament, to continue the lie".

"It would be very relevant if the party leadership told her to tell a lie - we did not - to continue a narrative, (which) we did not."

After Ms Khan confessed to lying in Parliament in a statement on Nov 1, Mr Singh had put up a Facebook post on the same day that said Ms Khan should not have shared an account that contained untruths in the House.

The post did not mention that Ms Khan had confessed to him, vice-chair Faisal Manap and Ms Sylvia Lim five days after she had lied in Parliament about accompanying a sexual assault victim to the police station.


A media statement put out by the Workers' Party on Nov 2 that announced the formation of a WP disciplinary panel into the matter also did not mention this.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong asked if this could have given a false impression that Ms Khan had persisted in her lie alone.

"Whether that lie was held firmly and not discussed with senior leadership would be a different scenario from an MP who has lied, but confessed early, almost three months prior to coming clean in Parliament," Mr Tong said.

He added that it could also have been a mitigating factor when WP's panel made its recommendations to the party's Central Executive Committee (CEC) on how to sanction her.

The disciplinary panel, comprised of the three senior leaders who knew about the lie on Aug 8, did not disclose this information to WP members who were invited to give their opinions about the issue.

Mr Singh disagreed, saying: "In my view, that point rests on her telling the senior leadership after she's been forced to tell the senior leadership what has happened."

On Dec 2, the WP held a press conference during which it was first disclosed that the party's senior leadership was aware of Ms Khan's untruths months prior.

When asked why he decided then to make what he had earlier thought to be irrelevant information public, Mr Singh said he wanted to do away with the illusion that the party was hiding something.

"There was online chatter about it. And I thought it would be relevant to answer it. And I would expect journalists to ask that question," he said.


Mr Tong asked what was wrong with making the information public earlier, to which Mr Singh replied: "That's precisely my point: it didn't even cross our minds. The question of it being relevant wasn't even active at that time."

Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin then asked Mr Singh why the press conference on Dec 2 was held at around the same time on the first day that the Committee of Privileges met to hear evidence, and whether it was called because the WP senior leadership knew their involvement would emerge when Ms Khan came before the committee.

Mr Singh said this did not occur to him and that the press conference had been publicly announced days before.

On why the WP leaders' prior awareness of Ms Khan's Aug 3 lie to Parliament was kept even from the WP's CEC, Mr Singh said that Ms Khan was before the CEC on Oct 29, and could have raised any concerns then if she had wanted to.

Mr Singh reiterated that the necessity for such a disclosure to the CEC did not cross the three senior leaders' mind.

"It did not press on our minds. But if (the CEC) would have asked (about our involvement), we would have (told them)."













Amid the emotion and noise, let's go back to first principles
By Grace Ho, Opinion Editor, The Straits Times, 12 Dec 2021

Relevance, reasonable supposition, level of culpability, state of mind. These are terms which, to most Singaporeans, are incomprehensible legalese.

But the Committee of Privileges (COP) exchanges with Workers' Party (WP) vice-chairman Faisal Manap last Thursday (Dec 9) and WP chief Pritam Singh on Friday were precisely about what logical conclusions and next steps they should have drawn from Ms Raeesah Khan's lies in Parliament; the apportionment of responsibility to each of the leaders; their state of mind when deciding how to engage her; and what relevant information to divulge to their party members and the larger public.

Early on in Part A of the video recordings released on Sunday as part of the third special report on the COP's ongoing proceedings, Mr Singh was asked about the untruth that Ms Khan spoke in Parliament on Aug 3 in relation to the police.

Shocked emojis popped up on my WhatsApp when acquaintances watched the part of the video where Mr Singh denied that the police would be adversely impacted by former MP Raeesah Khan's lie that accused them of mishandling a rape victim's case.

That got me thinking: Most of us do not understand how adverse impact is legally determined, how one's state of mind is legally assessed, or how the degree of responsibility is legally weighed. But all of us instinctively react to things in a certain way based on our values and principles.


So let's go back to first principles. Here are five things that stood out for me.

One hour of being overwhelmed

In Mr Faisal's evidence given to the COP last Thursday, he spoke of being "overwhelmed" by the revelations of Ms Khan's sexual assault, when the three leaders and Ms Khan were at Mr Singh's house on Aug 8.

I get that their main concern was Ms Khan's well-being. But instead of discussing what to do about the lie, it is said in the COP report that they tried to console and comfort her, and the discussion moved on to what she had said in Parliament about female genital cutting and polygamy.

We cannot judge what exactly went down in that meeting. But let's say you are a boss, and your employee admits to a wrongdoing. How would you apportion the time spent in the meeting with her?

Would you express sympathy for her personal situation, and then take some time to work out how to deal with it according to the proper procedures? Or would you not speak further about the issue, and jump to a discussion on tomorrow's assignment?

Relevance to the public

The report noted that after Ms Khan delivered her statement in Parliament on Nov 1, Mr Singh did not disclose, in his Facebook post, that Ms Khan had confessed the lie to Ms Sylvia Lim, Mr Faisal and himself much earlier on Aug 8.

His explanation was that it was not important for Parliament, and not relevant for the public to know this.

Here, it is worth noting that the impact of the lie went beyond one person and had persisted for nearly three months.

For the sake of argument, let's leave aside the impact on WP, Parliament, and the police. But what about other sexual assault survivors? Other women?

Is this still irrelevant to the public then?


Clarifying an important issue

Following his Oct 3 meeting with Ms Khan, Mr Singh did not inform the WP central executive committee (CEC) that she might make a clarification in Parliament the next day admitting that she had lied, nor did he seek their approval or consensus.

There was also no draft of her statement prepared, or any discussions or comments sought on a possible draft.

This is different from the approach taken to the Nov 1 statement by Ms Khan in Parliament: There were several meetings to discuss the draft personal statement, Mr Singh and Ms Lim gave comments to Ms Khan's draft statement, even Ms Khan's father gave input on the draft, and the WP CEC was told on Oct 29 and they reviewed her draft.

A host of explanations were given for this. Mr Singh was not sure whether the matter would come up during the Oct 4 sitting, and if it did not come up, then Ms Khan may not have clarified.

If the matter did not get raised, then he had no plans to voluntarily get the issue clarified, because it was Ms Khan's responsibility.

The question hanging over all this was whether she had told her parents about her sexual assault. Mr Singh said, in the context of this unanswered question: "My words to her was to take ownership and responsibility of the matter, which extends to telling the truth."

Culture, Community and Youth Minister Edwin Tong argued: "Which, in fact, must fundamentally include telling the truth. That's the whole raison d'etre behind making a clarification, correct?"

If the issue of Ms Khan's disclosure to her parents was so important, why did Mr Singh not simply ask her about it - especially if it was, as the report also said, in his mind a precondition before she clarified the truth in public?


Taking responsibility

Mr Singh said a party leader does not take an oath on behalf of all of his MPs, who take their oaths on their own standing and merit.

"Every WP MP is a leader, they have to take responsibility… if you honour the oath you've taken, it is your prerogative to set the record right," he added.

Now, put this side by side with what Mr Faisal said on Dec 9.

In an exchange between Mr Tong and Mr Faisal on Ms Khan's repetition of the lie on Oct 4, and why he still did not ask Mr Singh what was going on given that the lie had remained on record for eight weeks then, Mr Tong asked: "What is to stop you from asking Mr Singh what is happening?"

Mr Faisal replied: "Trust."

Mr Tong went on to say: "So you trust his judgment. If that is the case, why don't you leave everything to him, the way you run your party, the way you run your CEC, the way you run Aljunied GRC?"

So here we have the vice-chairman of the WP, who repeatedly cites "trust" as the reason why he does not ask his leader what is being done even when something is amiss.

We also have a leader who, according to the report, said he had not directed former MP Raeesah Khan to lie, but also took no steps for more than two months to get her to correct her false statement.

Then we have Ms Khan herself, who doesn't own up until a late stage.

Even if we accept that this is the WP's modus operandi, what does it say about the party's decision-making processes and controls?

When individuals in any organisation do not own up to a material lie that has been repeated, should people further along the chain of responsibility not actively take steps to resolve the problem?

Composition of disciplinary panel

In relation to the WP putting out a media statement on the formation of a disciplinary panel (DP) on Nov 2, Mr Singh said that he did not think that it was relevant that he, as the leader of WP and a member of the DP, had been aware of Ms Khan's falsehood much earlier, according to the report.

Mr Singh was asked if the suppression of the fact that Ms Khan had told some of the WP leaders on Aug 8, and that Mr Singh had spoken with her on Oct 3, would give the impression that it was all Ms Khan's doing. He said that it was irrelevant to mention these facts in the two press statements the WP had put out.

The report also said that according to Mr Singh, the involvement of himself, Ms Lim and Mr Faisal in the events that unfolded would only become relevant if they could be shown to have directed Ms Khan to lie - and no such direction to Ms Khan had been given.

Now, I'm not a lawyer. But as someone trying to make sense of the technicalities of what is relevant or not, why is the leaders' involvement only relevant if they could be shown to have directed Ms Khan to lie, given that the larger issue is that they knew about the lie since August?

Shouldn't the full facts of the case be presented so that the CEC, party members and the public can come to an unbiased and informed view?

In addition, the DP comprised the very persons - and crucially, the only persons - whom Ms Khan says had told her to continue with the lie.

Again, I'm not a lawyer. But is there a potential issue of conflict of interest here?

Take company boards for example, which some of us may be more familiar with. Isn't it the case that board directors should not vote in respect of any arrangement where they have any personal material interest, direct or indirect?

And even if the three leaders continued to be on the DP by virtue of their seniority and position in the party, why were there not others on the panel who could also weigh in? And if they were on the panel, surely the full facts of the case should be made known to them too?

Some Singaporeans will understandably be upset by the temperature of the exchange, especially the one with Mr Singh on Dec 10. But as far as process is concerned, the facts of the matter must be uncovered, and probing questions must be asked.

It is not for us to make any judgment either way at this point. Nonetheless, the past week has been a confusing one for many.

What is the difference between telling the truth, and "extends" to telling the truth? What is logical or illogical? When is a conflict of interest not a conflict of interest?

Where does trust end, and credulity begin?

Right now, there do not seem to be unequivocally convincing answers.










Not much impact on police work as Raeesah Khan's allegations were not substantiated: Pritam Singh
By Tham Yuen-C, Senior Political Correspondent, The Straits Times, 12 Dec 2021

Workers' Party chief and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh told a parliamentary committee that he felt a lie told by Ms Raeesah Khan about a sexual assault case did not cause the police much harm.

While Ms Khan told Parliament on Aug 3 that the police had treated a sexual assault victim insensitively and made her cry, the then-MP was not able to substantiate the allegation, Mr Singh said.

Given this, he added, he disagreed that the false anecdote would have had an adverse impact on the work of the police.


His gave his views on the issue at a hearing held by the Committee of Privileges on Friday (Dec 10), after Culture, Community and Youth Minister Edwin Tong suggested that Ms Khan's lie was made more serious as it could impact the work of the police.

Ms Khan told Parliament in a speech that she had accompanied a sexual assault victim to the police station to make a report, and alleged the victim came out crying after the police asked about her dressing and whether she had been drinking.

She later admitted that she had been lying and had never accompanied a sexual assault victim to a police station. In fact, she had heard the anecdote at a support group.

In a short but tense exchange during the hearing on how the lie had affected the police, Mr Tong asked Mr Singh if it was okay for a lie to be told in Parliament relating to the "bad reaction" of the police to a complaint by a sexual assault victim.

To this, Mr Singh stressed that Ms Khan had been questioned right away and was not able to substantiate her allegation.

He also said: "The police is not some broken-back organisation... I solemnly and sincerely believe if you speak to any senior police officer worth his salt, he or she will tell you that in the course of investigations there can be a number of situations where certain questions are put to a witness which are uncomfortable for that person."

Mr Tong then suggested that wrong was done to the police as time had been wasted by the police "chasing their tails for three months" in order to find the case Ms Khan was talking about.

But Mr Singh disagreed.

He pointed out that Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan said at the very sitting that the police could not find any case resembling what Ms Khan had described.

"So what work was actually done? I am not aware. I am not saying no work was done, obviously work must have been done, done to check," said Mr Singh.

When Mr Tong suggested that the police would have had to go through all its cases to check, since the allegation made in Parliament was serious and had to be addressed, Mr Singh replied: "I do not believe I heard that from the police. I did not hear anywhere that they've gone through all the cases."

Mr Tong then asked Mr Singh why he had apologised to the police during a WP press conference on Dec 2 on Ms Khan's resignation, suggesting that Mr Singh must have felt that "wrong was done to the police".

To this, Mr Singh said he did so because "I don't think anyone deserves that... and I work with the police".

Mr Singh also said that he had apologised because a reporter had put a question to him about the police.

Mr Tong then suggested that Mr Singh must have "cleared" or "approved" a statement by Ms Khan on Nov 1 admitting to her lie and apologising to the police.

But Mr Singh, strenuously disagreeing with Mr Tong's choice of words, said the statement contained Ms Khan's words and he did not approve or clear it, though he was satisfied with it.

He added that he never said he did not want an apology to be made to the police.

He also told Mr Tong: "You're not gonna put words in my mouth."

To this, Mr Tong said: "I can't because the truth has to come from you."

It also emerged during the hearing that Mr Singh, WP chair Sylvia Lim and vice-chair Faisal Manap had known about an e-mail that the police sent to Ms Khan on Oct 7, asking for her assistance in their investigations into the allegations.

Ms Khan had forwarded the e-mail to the three WP leaders and asked for their advice on what to do.

Confirming this, Mr Singh said he did not advise Ms Khan to respond to the police, but added he had told Ms Khan at some point to tell the police that she would clarify the matter in Parliament, according to a special report summarising Mr Singh's testimony to the committee.

Mr Singh also said that while he did not direct Ms Khan to meet the police to answer their questions, he also did not direct her not to do so.

Asked why he had not advised Ms Khan to respond to the police, despite being invited by the police to do so three times, Mr Singh said that it was because it was clear to him that Ms Khan's untruth had to be corrected in Parliament, where it was originally made, the special report said.







Significant resources spent to probe Raeesah Khan's allegations: Police respond to Pritam Singh's remark
By Goh Yan Han, The Straits Times, 13 Dec 2021

Significant resources were dedicated to investigating former Workers' Party MP Raeesah Khan's allegation in Parliament about a sexual assault case, the police said on Monday (Dec 13).

After she made the claim, police officers went through two rounds of checking their records, including all records of visitors to all police stations in the country since Jan 1, 2017.

The aim was to identify the alleged visit, said the police in a statement on Monday evening (Dec 13).


Ms Khan in a speech on Aug 3 said she had accompanied a sexual assault victim to a police station, but the victim later came out crying after being asked by the police about her dressing and whether she had been drinking.

She has since confessed to lying about the case and admitted that she had not accompanied the victim to the police station.

On Friday, Workers' Party chief and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh, appearing before the Committee of Privileges, said he felt the lie told by Ms Khan did not cause the police much harm.

He also questioned the amount of work put in by the police to investigate her allegations.


They added that their officers also considered the possibility that Ms Khan had accompanied a victim, without entering a police station.


As such, they also combed through more than 1,400 sexual assault and related cases from 2018 to 2021, and narrowed this list down to cases which appeared to somewhat match Ms Khan's description in Parliament.

The police said: "The investigation officers in charge of these cases were all asked to check through their investigation records in detail. Other details were also checked with the officers.

"Police officers also checked through all the feedback received from members of the public in 2018, relating to sexual assault, but could not link any feedback to the case mentioned by Ms Khan."

The police said they had dedicated significant resources to investigate into Ms Khan's claims and many police officers had been involved in the investigations into the false claims.

They added that the quantitative impact of such falsehoods is not just in terms of the man-hours lost.

"There were also delays in handling other matters and cases, with impact on members of the public - whose cases could have been handled faster had the time and resources not been wasted trying to investigate an incident which never happened."

According to a special report released on Sunday, Mr Singh, in testimony to the Committee of Privileges, said Ms Khan had not been able to substantiate the allegation. He also disagreed that the false anecdote would have had an adverse impact on the work of the police.

He said: "The police is not some broken-back organisation... I solemnly and sincerely believe if you speak to any senior police officer worth his salt, he or she will tell you that in the course of investigations there can be a number of situations where certain questions are put to a witness which are uncomfortable for that person."


Culture, Community and Youth Minister Edwin Tong replied that a wrong was done to the police as time had been wasted by the police "chasing their tails for three months" in order to find the case Ms Khan was talking about.

Mr Singh disagreed.

He pointed out that Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan said at the same session of Parliament that the police could not find any case resembling what Ms Khan had described.

"So what work was actually done? I am not aware. I am not saying no work was done, obviously work must have been done, done to check," said Mr Singh.

When Mr Tong suggested that the police would have had to go through all its cases to check, since the allegation made in Parliament was serious and had to be addressed, Mr Singh replied: "I do not believe I heard that from the police. I did not hear anywhere that they've gone through all the cases."


In the statement on Monday, the police said public trust in the police force is integral to the officers' ability to carry out their mission effectively, to ensure the safety and security of the people.

The statement said: "If the public whom we serve do not trust us, it would be difficult to secure their cooperation, which is often critical to prevent, deter and detect crime and security incidents."

False accusations against the police also have an impact on victims' trust and confidence in the police, and may deter victims from coming forward to seek help.

"The police therefore take all allegations against our professionalism seriously. When allegations are made, we investigate carefully, and if they are true, we take steps to rectify the mistakes, and minimise the possibility of them recurring."

It added that false anecdotes such as the one told by Ms Khan, will cast doubt on, and over time, erode public trust in the police.

"Comments that downplay or dismiss the impact of false allegations against the police, are discouraging. They can also affect the morale of our officers, who work hard every day to keep Singaporeans safe and secure."










# Best Actor nominee 3: Sylvia Lim





Sylvia Lim says she did not discuss Raeesah's lie with WP leaders as she left it to Pritam: Report
By Hariz Baharudin, The Straits Times, 14 Dec 2021

For months, Workers' Party (WP) chairman Sylvia Lim knew of Ms Raeesah Khan's lie in Parliament but did not discuss with fellow leaders a timeframe for addressing this matter as she had left WP chief Pritam Singh to handle it, Ms Lim told the Committee of Privileges.

This was because she believed Mr Singh knew Ms Khan best and was guiding her, and so she left it to him to follow up on this matter after Aug 8, when Ms Khan had first confessed her lie in Parliament to Ms Lim, Mr Singh, and WP vice-chairman Faisal Manap.


The Committee of Privileges is looking into a complaint against Ms Khan, who had admitted lying in Parliament. She resigned in November from the party and her position as a Sengkang GRC MP.

Ms Khan said in a speech on Aug 3 that she had accompanied a sexual assault victim to a police station, but the victim later came out crying after being asked by the police about her dressing and whether she had been drinking.

She has since confessed to lying about the case and admitted that she had not accompanied the victim to the police station.


According to a special report released on Tuesday (Dec 14), the fourth so far, Ms Lim also did not discuss the lie with Mr Singh, Mr Faisal, or anyone else.

In particular, Ms Lim confirmed that she did not discuss with the party leadership whether Ms Khan's lie would be clarified in Parliament during the September sitting. Ms Khan did not attend that session due to a case of shingles.

Ms Lim said she did not do any of these things because she felt that Mr Singh was the WP leader who was guiding Ms Khan and was closest to her.

"Basically, I left it to Pritam (Singh) to follow up with her because he knows her best," she said. "Historically, she was helping him in his Meet-the-People session in Eunos - I think for about a year prior to the GE (general election) - and I think he had some communications, on and off, with her family."


During a hearing on Monday of more than three hours, Ms Lim also told the committee that she could not "fathom" the possibility that Mr Singh would have given Ms Khan the choice between telling the truth and lying again.

It was for this reason that she did not clarify with Mr Singh what he and Ms Khan had discussed and agreed to, between Aug 8 and their meeting on Oct 12.

Ms Lim provided the committee with a copy of notes that she had taken during the WP's disciplinary panel interview with Ms Khan on Nov 29, which were reproduced in the report.

The notes showed Mr Singh asking Ms Khan if she could recall their meeting before the October Parliament session, and that he had told her it was her call on what to do.


According to Ms Lim's notes, Mr Singh had asked Ms Khan if the need to tell the truth in Parliament had occurred to her.

Ms Khan then replied that this did occur to her, but she had not done so due to her guilt and her own experience. Ms Khan also thought the matter would not come up during the sitting.

The notes captured Mr Singh having asked Ms Khan "can't lie, right?" to which she agreed.

When asked for her views on what Mr Singh had said to Ms Khan during this interview, Ms Lim told the committee that he seemed to have said that it was for Ms Khan to decide what to do on Oct 4, if the issue arose in Parliament.


In another part of Ms Lim's evidence, she described how she could not conceive of Mr Singh asking Ms Khan to lie.

"Ms Lim said... she would not have believed that Mr Singh would have given Ms Khan a choice to lie, if the matter arose again, and that she could not 'fathom' the possibility that Mr Singh would have given Ms Khan the choice between telling the truth and lying again," said the report.

In his evidence before the committee, Mr Singh said he told Ms Khan she had to take ownership and responsibility of the issue and had an expectation that she would clarify the truth if it came up again in Parliament, but added that he had no plans to voluntarily raise the issue.

The report also disclosed that Ms Lim had told Ms Khan at their Oct 12 meeting that she did not have to respond to the police's Oct 7 request for an interview, since Ms Khan was going to be making a clarification in Parliament.

Ms Lim agreed with the committee that as an experienced politician, she immediately appreciated the gravity and seriousness of the matter on finding out about Ms Khan's Aug 8 untruth in Parliament.

But while the lie would have to be clarified, Ms Lim did not apply her mind, at that time, to the question of how and when it should be corrected, the report added.

Ms Lim told the committee that she did not recall any conversation between Mr Singh, Mr Faisal and herself on Aug 8 concerning Ms Khan's lie in Parliament, or the next steps that needed to be taken.

She also did not say anything to Ms Khan then about next steps to correct the parliamentary record as Ms Khan had to speak with her parents first about her sexual assault before anything else could be done.

Ms Lim said that she disagreed with Ms Khan's account that the opposition party's leaders had told her to take her lie "to the grave", which aligns with what Mr Singh said in his hearing last week.


Mr Singh had told the committee on Friday (Dec 10) that Ms Khan's recounting this was a "complete, utter fabrication".

Following the meeting between WP leaders and Ms Khan on Aug 8, Ms Lim said no concrete steps that she was aware of were taken towards having Ms Khan go to Parliament to clarify the lie.

Ms Lim said she did not subsequently communicate with Ms Khan about her Aug 3 lie, and did not check whether she had informed her family about having been a victim of sexual assault, said the report.

An e-mail the party chief sent on Oct 1 to all WP MPs reminding them about the need to be able to substantiate what they say in the House meant that he had "his eye on the matter" involving Ms Khan, she added.

"I had my reasons for leaving the matter for Pritam (Singh) to follow up on, so I did not myself speak to her on these matters, to confirm what had been done or not done," said Ms Lim.



















Not an option for Raeesah Khan to clarify lie on Oct 5, time needed to structure statement: Sylvia Lim
By Tham Yuen-C, Senior Political Correspondent, The Straits Times, 14 Dec 2021

Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim told a parliamentary committee she did not think it was an option for Ms Raeesah Khan to come clean at the Oct 5 sitting of Parliament, one day after the former MP repeated her lie in Parliament.

This is because Ms Khan and the WP leaders needed time to "carefully structure" a statement that Ms Khan would be comfortable with, according to the fourth special report released by the Committee of Privileges on Tuesday (Dec 14).


Ms Lim also cited a clarification that party chief Pritam Singh had drafted for Ms Khan on Aug 3 after Ms Khan first told her lie. Ms Khan had insisted on the veracity of her anecdote, leading to Mr Singh drafting a clarification for her that turned out to "double down" on the untruth, said Ms Lim.

The episode "was a reminder of how things had to be done with due deliberation", Ms Lim is quoted as saying in the report.

Ms Lim, Mr Singh - who is Leader of the Opposition - and WP vice-chairman Faisal Manap, had all acknowledged during hearings held by the committee that Ms Khan's repetition of the lie on Oct 4 had made the situation more grave.

Ms Khan had said in a speech on Aug 3 that she had accompanied a sexual assault victim to a police station, but that the victim later came out crying after being asked by the police about her dressing and whether she had been drinking.

Ms Khan has since confessed to lying about the case and admitted that she had not accompanied the victim to the police station.

The Committee of Privileges is looking into a complaint against Ms Khan over the lie.


In the committee's special report, Ms Lim is quoted saying that it became even more urgent for steps to be taken to correct the parliamentary record after Ms Khan lied again during an exchange with Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam on Oct 4.

Asked why Ms Khan was not asked to set the record straight the very next day, Ms Lim said: "I think theoretically, yes, it's an option, but practically I don't think it's an option."

She explained to the committee that time was needed to carefully structure a clarification and to make sure that Ms Khan would be "emotionally stable and comfortable with her statement of clarification".

She also said the WP leaders would "need time to go in, ascertain from her exactly what she wants to say and whether it can withstand scrutiny".

Ms Lim told the committee that she had been very frustrated when Ms Khan stuck to her untrue anecdote that day.

"I was frustrated because it didn't appear that there had been any progress made on moving towards correcting the record and in fact... there was doubling down on the untruth," Ms Lim said at a hearing on Monday (Dec 13).


After the exchange, Ms Lim had asked to meet Ms Khan in Mr Singh's office in Parliament House, to ascertain Ms Khan's emotional state, and also to tell Ms Khan her thoughts on the legal position, Ms Lim said to the committee.

At this meeting, Ms Lim said she had told Ms Khan that an issue brought up in Parliament should be dealt with by Parliament, since things said in the House are protected by privilege.

She told Ms Khan to get legal advice, in the light of the fact that Mr Shanmugam had said the police would contact Ms Khan for assistance.

That night, Ms Lim met Ms Khan again, this time with Mr Singh present.

After Mr Singh asked Ms Khan what she planned to do about the matter, Ms Khan had said perhaps there was another path - honesty, Ms Lim said.

The meeting ended shortly with Mr Singh saying that they would discuss the matter further.

Ms Lim said neither she nor Mr Singh had indicated when Ms Khan should set the record straight in Parliament, though this was what she had in mind.

It was only on Oct 12 that an express commitment was made for the first time for Ms Khan to clarify the lie in Parliament, during a meeting in Mr Singh's house, Ms Lim confirmed.

Ms Lim said she and Mr Singh had been angry as Ms Khan had been reluctant to correct the record in Parliament. They told her she had no choice but to do so at the next sitting in November, and Ms Khan agreed this would be the best thing to do, said the report.

Ms Lim said she had also told Ms Khan that it was all right not to respond to the police, who had sent Ms Khan an e-mail on Oct 7, since Ms Khan was going to make a clarification in Parliament.













WP leaders' prior knowledge of Raeesah's lie material only if they had told her to take lie to the grave: Jamus Lim
By Goh Yan Han, The Straits Times, 14 Dec 2021

The fact that three Workers' Party leaders knew of former MP Raeesah Khan's lie from Aug 8 would only be "material information" that had to be disclosed to the party's top leadership body if they had - as she alleged - instructed her to take her lie to the grave, said Associate Professor Jamus Lim.

But if Ms Khan had been told to subsequently tell the truth after being given some time, then her prior confessions to party chief Pritam Singh, chair Sylvia Lim and vice-chair Faisal Manap would not have been material or relevant facts for the WP central executive committee (CEC), Prof Lim told the Committee of Privileges on Monday (Dec 13).


According to a fourth special report released by the committee on Tuesday, Prof Lim - a WP CEC member - had said whether the senior party leaders' prior knowledge of the matter was material would "depend on what the truth of the matter was".

The report said Prof Lim initially agreed the CEC would have to determine the truth, taking into account the recommendations of a disciplinary panel that consisted solely of Mr Singh, Ms Lim and Mr Faisal.

"He subsequently said that he did not know who determined the truth, and that the truth was what everyone was trying to uncover," the report said.

The Committee of Privileges is looking into a complaint against Ms Khan, who had admitted lying in Parliament. She resigned in November from the party and her position as a Sengkang GRC MP.

Ms Khan said in a speech on Aug 3 that she had accompanied a sexual assault victim to a police station, but that the victim later came out crying after being asked by the police about her dressing and whether she had been drinking.

Ms Khan has since confessed to lying about the case and admitted that she had not accompanied the victim to the police station.

During his testimony, Prof Lim confirmed that he did not know Ms Khan had told Mr Singh, Ms Lim and Mr Faisal about her lie when the CEC approved the formation of the disciplinary panel on Nov 2.

He also did not know of her confessions to the three leaders when the CEC decided on the panel's recommendations on Nov 30.

The report said Prof Lim was asked if he, as a CEC member, would have expected the disciplinary panel to be "disinterested from the episode and the surrounding circumstances, so that they had no personal interest in the matter which they were supposed to investigate".

He was also asked if he expected the CEC to be told about Ms Khan's confessions to the party leaders and what they knew on Oct 4, when Ms Khan repeated her lie in Parliament in response to Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam.

In response, Prof Lim said: "If there was anything material, I trust that the leadership would have shared that with us."

Prof Lim, an MP for Sengkang GRC, also told the committee that the points made by the disciplinary panel were secondary to his decision.

He said: "I trusted the disciplinary panel to lay out what was material and necessary. But it would have been irresponsible for me to have made a decision of this gravity without also reflecting independently on what I could gather, as well as ... the philosophy and principles behind what that decision would entail.

"So I did spend an extended amount of time deliberating within myself, personally, again, almost to an extent where the few points that were made by the disciplinary panel during that CEC meeting, were essentially secondary for my decision."


Prof Lim also confirmed that on Oct 29, the CEC was informed at an extraordinary meeting of Ms Khan's lie in Parliament, and that she would be delivering a personal explanation to clarify on the next Parliament sitting on Nov 1.

Her draft personal explanation was recited to CEC members who discussed and gave suggestions.

"Some members felt that the reference to Ms Khan being a sexual assault victim could sound like an excuse, but Prof Lim felt that it was important for her to state this," said the report.

According to the report, Prof Lim said that apart from what he was told at the Oct 29 meeting, he generally learnt of the facts concerning this matter only when they became public.

The people whom he had obtained feedback from would likewise be unaware of these facts as they were not public knowledge as at Nov 30, when the panel presented its recommendations to the CEC.













WP's Pritam Singh disputes giving Raeesah Khan choice on correcting lie
By Hariz Baharudin, The Straits Times, 15 Dec 2021

Workers' Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh has disputed the suggestion that he gave Ms Raeesah Khan a choice between clarifying and keeping to her lie, when he appeared before the Committee of Privileges on Wednesday (Dec 15) for the second time in a week.


The committee had summoned him back to clarify what he meant when he told Ms Khan "it was your call" on how to proceed should the issue of her lie come up in Parliament on Oct 4.

At her hearing on Monday, WP chairman Sylvia Lim had shared her notes which she had taken on Nov 29 when Ms Khan appeared before the WP’s disciplinary panel that was formed to look into her conduct.


Ms Lim told the committee he seemed to have said that it was up to Ms Khan to decide what to do on Oct 4, if the issue arose in Parliament.


In his evidence on Wednesday, Mr Singh said he "communicated to her quite clearly" that she had to take ownership and responsibility for her untruth in Parliament.

He agreed that the phrase “your call” might be understood that he had, on Oct 3, told Ms Khan that she had to make a choice as to whether to tell the truth or continue to lie, if she was questioned about her story in Parliament on Oct 4.

But Mr Singh said that when he said “your call”, he meant Ms Khan should take responsibility for her work in Parliament. He said that what he told Ms Khan at the disciplinary panel meeting on Nov 29 had to be looked at in context.

Mr Singh also said that even though he had, on Nov 29, used the phrase “it is your call to make” to describe what he had told Ms Khan on Oct 3, he had not used those exact words when they spoke on Oct 3.

“I think this was the way I phrased my question to Ms Khan at the disciplinary panel. But insofar as what I said to her at the meeting at her house on Oct 3, it was clear that you had to take ownership and responsibility for it,” he said.

“And thereafter... I said ‘you know, I will not judge you’ but in the context of her appearing to look uncertain of herself.”


Ms Lim’s notes also captured Mr Singh asking Ms Khan “can’t lie, right?”, to which the former Sengkang GRC MP agreed.

“That’s a reasonable look at it, but in the context of how I put it to Ms Khan at the disciplinary panel, and in particular the question that I followed up with – I mean, ‘You really can’t tell a lie, can you?’ – I think the whole, entire context of the discussion on Oct 3 really comes back to Ms Khan having to take ownership and responsibility for this issue,” he said.

When asked why he did not say to Ms Khan clearly that she had to own up and tell the truth in Parliament, Mr Singh told the committee she had communicated that she had suffered a very traumatic episode.


Due to this, he decided to take a course of action where she would first address the episode with her family, and thereafter he could pursue the matter of the untruth with her.

Mr Singh added that he had sent an e-mail on Oct 1 to all WP MPs reminding them about the need to be able to substantiate what they said in the House, which suggested that he was not personally going to let this issue remain on the parliamentary record.

Mr Singh was also asked by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong about the evidence presented by WP cadre Loh Pei Ying about a meeting he had with her.

The committee had previously heard that Ms Loh and another cadre, Mr Yudhishthra Nathan, had met Mr Singh at his house on Oct 12. During that meeting, she learnt that Mr Singh had met Ms Khan on Oct 3 and had said “I will not judge you” to Ms Khan.


Mr Tong pointed out that Ms Loh’s takeaway from the conversation between her and Mr Singh was that he had left Ms Khan with the choice of whether to tell the truth or otherwise with his words “I will not judge you”.

To this, Mr Singh said that those words seem to have been “seared in Ms Loh’s and even Mr Nathan’s minds”, which might have led her to not place enough emphasis on the context in which they were spoken, which is that Ms Khan had to take ownership and responsibility for her lie.

“I think they’ve placed a large amount of weight on it, and they’ve not placed enough emphasis on the context in which that phrase was shared,” he said.

“And hence, I think it follows why Ms Loh would make the representations that she has done.”


The Committee of Privileges is looking into a complaint against Ms Khan, who had admitted to lying in Parliament. She resigned in November from the party and her position as a Sengkang GRC MP.

Ms Khan said in a speech on Aug 3 that she had accompanied a sexual assault victim to a police station, but that the victim later came out crying after being asked by the police about her dressing and whether she had been drinking. She repeated the untruth on Oct 4.

She confessed on Nov 1 to lying about the case and admitted that she had not accompanied the victim to the police station.













WP leaders issued summons after failing to produce documents requested by privileges committee
By Goh Yan Han, The Straits Times, 15 Dec 2021

The Workers' Party's top leaders have each been issued a summons to provide documents requested by the Committee of Privileges, which they have thus far failed to produce.

On Wednesday (Dec 15), the committee said it had, on various occasions between Dec 10 and 14, asked Workers' Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh, chair Sylvia Lim and vice-chair Faisal Manap to produce documents such as internal correspondence among party senior leadership that is relevant to issues raised in its investigation.

However, they have failed or refused to provide the documents, the committee noted in its fifth special report, which contained a summary of evidence from Mr Singh who on Wednesday testified for a second time to clarify points in Ms Lim's testimony on Monday.


The report said the committee will consider the responses from Mr Singh, Ms Lim and Mr Faisal to the summons when it next meets on Monday (Dec 20).

At the end of Wednesday's session, Speaker of Parliament and committee chair Tan Chuan-Jin said parliamentary clerks would ask Mr Singh to provide details that the committee feels "would be relevant for our consideration".

These include correspondence among party leadership during the disciplinary panel, the inputs given, as well as details related to the WP press conference on Dec 2, Mr Tan said, adding that these could help the committee with understanding the issues at hand.

The committee has largely concluded its proceedings, aside from a few outstanding matters to be addressed, the report said.

It will hear further evidence if it sees fit, and present its findings and recommendations to Parliament in due course.

The issue of documents had also come up during Mr Faisal's hearing last Thursday, when he was asked about a note he had prepared on the sequence of events pertaining to former WP MP Raeesah Khan's telling of falsehoods in Parliament.

When asked if he had discussed the contents of the note with anyone, he said he had met Mr Singh and Ms Lim in the two days before his hearing, on Tuesday and Wednesday, for two to three hours each time.

He said Mr Singh and Ms Lim had brought documents to the meetings, but refused to answer questions about what those documents were and whether he knew what they were.

Under the Parliament (Privileges, Immunities and Powers) Act, it is an offence to refuse to answer any question put forth by a parliamentary committee or not produce any document required.

MPs found to be in contempt of Parliament, to have abused their privilege or displayed dishonourable conduct, could be reprimanded by the Speaker, fined up to $50,000, suspended for the remainder of the current term or jailed.


The Committee of Privileges is looking into a complaint against Ms Khan, who had admitted lying in Parliament. She resigned in November from the party and her position as a Sengkang GRC MP.

Ms Khan said in a speech on Aug 3 that she had accompanied a sexual assault victim to a police station, but that the victim later came out crying after being asked by the police about her dressing and whether she had been drinking.

She has since confessed to lying about the case and admitted that she had not accompanied the victim to the police station.



















Committee of Privileges: Raeesah Khan testifies again on 22 Dec 2021




Raeesah Khan didn't have any mental disorder that would lead her to lie; Raeesah of sound mind when she testified: IMH expert
Psychiatrist assessed her to be 'mentally fit' when she made statements in Parliament
By Goh Yan Han, The Straits Times, 23 Dec 2021

Former Workers' Party MP Raeesah Khan did not suffer from any significant psychiatric disorder that would have impaired her ability to speak truthfully in Parliament, a medical expert testified before the Committee of Privileges yesterday.


Instead, Ms Khan was assessed to be of "sound mind" and "mentally fit" and "present" to make the statements that she had in Parliament and before the committee between Aug 3 and Dec 3, said Dr Christopher Cheok, who is acting chief of the department of forensic psychiatry at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).

In a sixth special report released by Parliament yesterday, Dr Cheok said Ms Khan did not suffer from any psychiatric disorder that would predispose her to telling untruths.

Dr Cheok, who is a senior consultant at IMH and a psychiatrist by training, assessed Ms Khan last Friday and Monday with her agreement after the committee invited her to undergo a psychiatric assessment.


This came after Leader of the Opposition and WP chief Pritam Singh suggested in his testimony about two weeks ago that the committee call for a psychiatric evaluation of Ms Khan, whom he said may be predisposed towards lying due to her mental condition of "disassociation", the committee noted.

WP chairman Sylvia Lim and vice-chairman Faisal Manap had also made several assertions with regard to Ms Khan's mental condition in their evidence to the committee, said the report.

Ms Khan, who last month admitted to lying in an anecdote raised in Parliament related to sexual assault, had said that she herself had been a victim of sexual assault.

In his evidence, Dr Cheok said it was a normal reaction for someone who had gone through a traumatic experience to continue to have some anxiety when speaking about the topic. This did not mean the person would be mentally impaired or incapacitated.

In Ms Khan's case, while she might have continued to feel upset about some of these memories, her judgment and decision-making capacity were not impaired, and she was of sound mind.


Dr Cheok also said that Ms Khan did not have post-traumatic stress disorder and did not suffer from dissociation between Aug 3 and Dec 3.

Besides the two occasions when he assessed Ms Khan, Dr Cheok also interviewed her husband and reviewed the relevant recordings of Ms Khan speaking in Parliament on Aug 3, Oct 4 and Nov 1, as well as her testimony before the committee on Dec 2 and 3.

When asked about Ms Khan's mental state on Aug 3 when she first mentioned the anecdote that contained untruths in Parliament, Dr Cheok said the speech was neither delivered impulsively nor as a result of dissociation or any psychiatric disorder.

It was possible that such untruths could be told as a result of bad judgment rather than because of any mental illness, he added.


In his assessment, Ms Khan also did not suffer from any significant or material dissociation between Aug 3 and Dec 3.

He explained that in layman's terms, dissociation is a symptom, not a medical diagnosis. It refers to the loss of the integrative function of the human mind, and may also be experienced by normal persons in different situations, such as deep prayer meditation or hypnosis.

Ms Khan had told him that her psychotherapist said she might have dissociation.

"Based on his conversations with Ms Khan, Dr Cheok did not believe that she fully understood what dissociation was," said the report.

Asked by WP MP Dennis Tan how to reconcile his findings on Ms Khan's mental health with the evidence of WP leaders that she would get emotional whenever her sexual assault was mentioned, Dr Cheok said a sexual assault is "one of the most traumatic experiences someone would ever go through".

Dr Cheok added: "(Being emotional) is a very understandable, very normal reaction from a survivor of a sexual assault.

"I would be very surprised if anyone can speak about their sexual assault, plainly, carelessly, without emotion, I think that is even more abnormal than being emotional when talking about their sexual assault."


While Dr Cheok did not deny that Ms Khan had some symptoms of being psychologically traumatised, he was of the view that the symptoms did not reach the threshold of a psychiatric disorder.

Asked by Mr Tan if it was nevertheless possible that Ms Khan's judgment could have been affected by the trauma - in a way that caused her to have "false memory creation" - Dr Cheok reiterated that Ms Khan did not suffer from dissociation.

In his assessment, when Ms Khan spoke of her assault, she was not affected to an extent that caused her to lose her mental capacity.

He was also asked by Mr Tan whether a person who is suffering from trauma, while still generally high functioning, could be capable of sending out a message that selectively contained a lie.

Dr Cheok said that while possible, there also may be other explanations why a person may give a falsehood. In the specific context of Ms Khan, Dr Cheok disagreed with this possibility.

WP leaders had, in their evidence, agreed that most of a message Ms Khan had sent to her aides following a meeting they all attended on Aug 8 was true, but also contained an untruth - specifically, that they had told her to take her lie in Parliament "to the grave".
















Raeesah Khan says Workers' Party leaders were 'out of line' to use mental illness to discredit her
By Justin Ong, Political Correspondent, The Straits Times, 23 Dec 2021

It was "extremely out of line" for Workers' Party (WP) leaders to portray her as emotionally and mentally unstable in events relating to a lie she had told in Parliament, said former WP MP Raeesah Khan.

Ms Khan was testifying yesterday to the Committee of Privileges investigating her over her Aug 3 lie in Parliament, when she had fabricated details about the police's handling of a sexual assault case.


She came clean to WP leaders on Aug 8, explaining that she had lied because of the personal trauma of being sexually assaulted, and admitted to her lie in Parliament on Nov 1. She resigned from WP on Nov 30.

On Nov 29, Ms Khan had told a WP disciplinary panel that her therapist said she "might" have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, which could lead to dissociation - a mental health condition where a person disconnects from his thoughts and feelings.

"But I never said that this was something that I was going through," she said yesterday.

WP chief Pritam Singh had earlier told the committee on Dec 10 that Ms Khan's dissociation could have prompted her to lie in a text message to her aides saying the party's leaders had told her to take her lie "to the grave".

Ms Khan had sent this message on Aug 8 after she met Mr Singh, WP chairman Sylvia Lim and vice-chairman Faisal Manap.


Yesterday, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong, who sits on the committee, said the impression he got from the trio's testimonies was that Ms Khan had been very emotionally affected on Aug 8, and was unable to have a conversation on the issue.

"If I was not able to have a discussion on this issue, then why would I have been left on my own to make a decision as they have claimed, which is not what happened?" said Ms Khan, referring to Mr Singh saying he had asked her to take ownership and responsibility of the lie and clarify it.

"And to use mental illness as a way to discredit someone, I think, is extremely out of line."

She later reiterated the same point when asked about Mr Singh's version of events of Oct 4, when Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam pressed her in Parliament to provide more details of her allegation against the police.

The Leader of the Opposition had recounted that Ms Khan had met him and Ms Lim late that night in a "dazed, distraught" state, and eventually "completely broke down".

"(Mr Singh is) trying to paint this picture of me as being emotionally or mentally unstable," Ms Khan said yesterday.

"Which, again, I think is completely out of line, and hopefully there is a testimony that would say that I am of sound mind."

She added that she had been stressed but was not crying then.

As Speaker of Parliament and committee chair Tan Chuan-Jin brought the hour-long hearing to a close, the former WP MP asked to make a statement.


"I think talking about mental health, especially in this day and age, is very sensitive," she said.

"And to use it to discredit someone, I think, sets back our movement to work on mental health and... to encourage people to seek help when they need."









Pritam Singh never gave directive to clarify my lie on Oct 3: Raeesah Khan
By Tham Yuen-C, Senior Political Correspondent, The Straits Times, 23 Dec 2021

Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh never used the words “take ownership and responsibility” during their Oct 3 meeting, Ms Raeesah Khan told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday (Dec 22).

Mr Singh had instead asked her to stick with her narrative rather than come clean on the untruth she told in Parliament on Aug 3, Ms Khan added.


The former WP MP gave this testimony during her third appearance before the Committee of Privileges, as she answered questions about an Oct 3 meeting she had with Mr Singh.

Sticking to what she told the committee on Dec 2 and 3, Ms Khan refuted claims by Mr Singh that he had expected her to set the record straight in Parliament and had made this clear to her by Oct 3.

During the one-hour hearing on Wednesday, Ms Khan also said repeatedly that she was telling the truth and that she will not lie under oath.

Ms Khan's conduct is under scrutiny by the committee after she told a lie in Parliament during a speech on Aug 3 about having accompanied a sexual assault victim to the police station.

Ms Khan had claimed that the woman had been driven to tears by the insensitive questions of the police. But on Nov 1, she admitted that she had heard the anecdote in a support group she was part of as a survivor of sexual assault herself.

During hearings before the committee, she said she had confessed the lie to her party leaders by Aug 8 and had been told by them to continue with it.

She also said that at an Oct 3 meeting, Mr Singh had told her that he would not judge her if she kept to the narrative.

Mr Singh has denied saying this. He told the committee on Dec 10 that when he met Ms Khan on Oct 3, he had told her that he expected her to take "ownership and responsibility" of the matter, and this meant that she was expected to tell the truth.

Mr Singh said Ms Khan became uncomfortable upon hearing this, so he said "I will not judge you, (which) meant I will not judge you if you take responsibility and ownership".


Asked about Mr Singh's testimony, Ms Khan said: "This is the first time I've heard him say these words."

She added that her former party leader "did not give any directive to clarify the lie in Parliament".

She said: "He said that if I were to continue the narrative, he would not judge me."

Mr Singh had earlier testified to the committee that he was “shocked” Ms Khan had claimed that no one else was present when they had the Oct 3 conversation because her “whole family” were at home that night.


Asked about this by the committee, Ms Khan said that what she meant in her earlier testimony was that no one else was present at the conversation between her and Mr Singh as they were seated in a corner of her home.

She confirmed that her parents, husband and her brother were at home during that time.

She took issue with Mr Singh's suggestion that she was uncomfortable with their conversation that night, saying: "I was never uncomfortable... I was in my own home."

After their conversation on Oct 3, Ms Khan would go on to lie in Parliament again on Oct 4 when questioned about the anecdote by Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam.

During her exchange with Mr Shanmugam, she had texted Mr Singh to ask him what she should do.

When Mr Singh was asked about this text message by the committee, he had said that there could have been no doubt that he expected her to set things right.

But Ms Khan told the committee on Wednesday that she had texted Mr Singh because she "was unsure of what to do".

"I thought that he would say just continue... because that was the conversation that we had the night before," she said. When he did not reply to her text message, she went ahead to continue lying as they had discussed, she added.

That night, Ms Khan met Mr Singh and WP chairman Sylvia Lim at Mr Singh's office in Parliament House. Mr Singh and Ms Lim had both told the committee that Ms Khan said during this meeting that perhaps there was "another path" - to tell the truth.

Explaining what she meant, she said on Wednesday: "I was hoping for a clear directive... to either tell the truth or to continue (with the lie)."

In response to Ms Khan’s suggestion, Mr Singh testified that he said rather angrily during the Oct 4 meeting that Ms Khan had chosen her path by lying again that day.

Ms Khan told the committee on Wednesday that she did not respond to this statement that night as she was shocked, given the conversation on Oct 3 during which "there was no intention or directive from his part to tell the truth".

Mr Singh and Ms Lim had also given evidence describing Ms Khan as distraught and in tears during the Oct 4 meeting.

But she denied this, saying that while she was stressed, she was not crying.

She also took issue with Mr Singh's characterisation of her state of mind: "He's trying to paint this picture of me as being emotionally or mentally unstable, which again, I think, is completely out of line and hopefully there's a testimony that... I'm of sound mind."

On Wednesday, Ms Khan was also asked about a Nov 29 meeting she had with the WP's disciplinary panel set up to look into her conduct after she admitted to her lie in Parliament on Nov 1.

Ms Lim’s notes from the meeting indicated that Mr Singh had told Ms Khan: “Before Oct session, I met you... I told you it was your call.”

Mr Singh said he did not use those words on Oct 3, but had told her she had to take responsibility for her lie.

Ms Khan confirmed that the words in Ms Lim’s notes were what Mr Singh said to her on Nov 29. But she added that Mr Singh never presented her with a choice on Oct 3, but had instead told her that if she continued with her narrative, he would not judge her.

“He did not put it forth as saying you can either tell the truth or you can continue with the lie,” she said.










Raeesah Khan insists Workers' Party chief Pritam Singh had told her to keep up her lie and 'take it to the grave'
By Justin Ong, Political Correspondent, The Straits Times, 23 Dec 2021

Former Workers' Party (WP) MP Raeesah Khan has stuck to her account of the opposition party's leaders advising her to keep up a lie she made in Parliament that ultimately led to her resigning from the party.

She insisted, in her testimony to a parliamentary committee, that WP chief Pritam Singh had used the words "take it to the grave" during an Aug 8 meeting where she admitted to him, WP chair Sylvia Lim and vice-chair Faisal Manap that she had lied in the House on Aug 3.


Testifying again before the Committee of Privileges investigating her conduct for fabricating details about the police's handling of a sexual assault case, she also refuted evidence previously given by the WP leaders to the committee.

Ms Khan, who was elected as an MP for Sengkang GRC last year, also disagreed "completely" with Mr Singh's earlier statements that she had told a "complete, utter fabrication" and a "bare lie" by saying the WP leaders had advised her to take her lie to the grave.

In video footage released on Wednesday (Dec 22) by the committee, she gave her version of the events of the Aug 8 meeting.

At the meeting, Ms Khan had explained that she lied because she had undergone a traumatic episode as a victim of a serious sexual assault herself.

"After I made that admission (about the lie), there was of course discussion about my well-being, which I think (was) rightly so because I had just shared a very deeply personal experience that I've had," she told the committee on Wednesday.

"And the discussion that followed was that we would not pursue the matter further. And, like in my message, Mr Singh used the words 'take it to the grave'."

Ms Khan was referring to a text message she sent to WP members Loh Pei Ying and Yudhishthra Nathan shortly after the meeting, where she said the party leaders had "agreed that the best thing to do is to take the information to the grave".


Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong, who sits on the committee, then sought to confirm that the words "take it to the grave" had come from Mr Singh, who is Leader of the Opposition, and were spoken in the presence of Ms Lim and Mr Faisal.

"Are you very clear about that? Is that your recollection?" he asked.

Ms Khan said: "Yes, I'm very clear… It is not a phrase that I would usually use. So it did not come from me."

According to the committee's first report issued on Dec 3, Ms Khan had alleged that the WP leaders had, during this meeting, advised her to "continue with the narrative" she falsely gave on Aug 3, and that if she and the party could "get away with it", there was no need to clarify and tell the truth - even if the matter was brought up again.

Mr Singh, Ms Lim and Mr Faisal have all disputed her account in their testimonies to the committee, saying they never directed her to lie.


Mr Singh has said that he opted to give Ms Khan time to deal with the matter and to speak to her parents first.

On Wednesday, Ms Khan said she did not recollect him telling her to inform her parents, "not in the slightest".

Mr Singh has also acknowledged that he did not take any steps from Aug 8 to Oct 3, to get her to correct her false statement.

He had also told the committee that the WP leaders were shocked, sympathetic and more concerned about Ms Khan's well-being after she revealed her sexual assault to them.

Mr Faisal said the three WP leaders were overwhelmed, and that there was zero discussion relating to the lie from then on.

Ms Khan on Wednesday told the committee that this was not her recollection.

"I think (Mr Faisal is) downplaying what the discussion was," she added.

Asked for her response to Mr Singh saying she was lying, Ms Khan said: "I disagree completely. I've come here to tell the truth. And I've made an oath to do so as well. And I've never strayed from that."

The committee also noted in its report on Wednesday - the sixth so far - that Ms Khan and the three WP leaders then proceeded on Aug 8 to discuss a statement on topics of female genital cutting and polygamy which she had also raised in her speech on Aug 3.

"Contrary to how she was characterised as being emotionally unstable, she felt that she was of sound mind as shown by her being able to discuss the statement at length," said the report.














Related





No comments:

Post a Comment