SINGAPORE: The Office of the Clerk of Parliament said on Friday (Nov 26) that the Committee of Privileges has begun its work into a complaint against MP Raeesah Khan (WP-Sengkang).
“It will consider any matters pertaining to the complaint referred to it. The committee will present its report to Parliament in due course,” said the Office, in response to CNA’s queries.
The Office of the Clerk of Parliament added that meetings of select committees are held in private unless resolved otherwise.
Ms Khan was referred to the Committee of Privileges for breach of parliamentary privilege after she admitted on Nov 1 to lying in Parliament about the details of a case of sexual assault, which she had claimed was mishandled by the police.
She first mentioned the case on Aug 3 during the Workers’ Party’s motion on empowering women.
She said she had accompanied a 25-year-old woman to make a police report three years ago, and that the victim had come out crying because a police officer allegedly made comments about her dressing and the fact that she had been drinking.
This prompted Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam to ask Ms Khan in Parliament on Oct 4 for more details, saying that such allegations would be investigated and taken seriously. Ms Khan declined to give more information, citing the need for confidentiality.
When Mr Shanmugam asked Ms Khan to confirm that she had accompanied the victim to the police station, she affirmed it. She did not respond to requests from the police to provide details on the sexual assault case, the police said.
In Parliament on Nov 1, Ms Khan admitted that she was “not present with the survivor in the police station as I described”.
“The anecdote was shared by the survivor in a women’s support group for women which I was a part of. I did not share that I was a part of the group as I did not have the courage to publicly admit that I was a part of it,” she said.
She revealed that she was sexually assaulted when she was 18, while studying abroad, and that it had traumatised her.
The members of the committee considering Ms Khan’s case are: Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu, Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli, National Development Minister Desmond Lee, MP Rahayu Mahzam (PAP-Jurong), MP Don Wee (PAP-Chua Chu Kang) and MP Dennis Tan (WP-Hougang).
Mr Tong and Ms Rahayu are standing in for Mr Shanmugam and Leader of the House Ms Indranee Rajah, who have recused themselves from the proceedings.