SINGAPORE: Leaders of the Workers’ Party (WP) had told former Sengkang GRC Member of Parliament (MP) Raeesah Khan to “continue with the narrative” and “directed her not to respond to the police” after she lied in Parliament, according to a summary of key points of her evidence to the Committee of Privileges.
Ms Khan resigned as MP on Nov 30, following her admission that an account she had given during a speech in Parliament on Aug 3 was untrue.
The Committee of Privileges presented a report to Parliament on Friday (Dec 3), including a summary of the evidence heard by the committee.
The Office of the Clerk of Parliament said the committee will continue to investigate the complaint and will hear further evidence “if it sees fit”.
Besides Ms Khan, three other members of the WP gave evidence to the committee.
WHAT RAEESAH KHAN SAID
The report, released to the media late Friday night, included a summary of the key points of evidence of Ms Khan.
Miss Khan said she spoke with Workers’ Party secretary-general Pritam Singh on Aug 7 and informed him of the untruth.
The next day she met Mr Singh, WP chair Sylvia Lim and WP vice-chair Faisal Manap.
“At the meeting, Ms Khan told them that she had lied in Parliament on Aug 3, and that she had no way of substantiating the statements she had made,” the summary said.
“As they (Mr Pritam Singh, Ms Sylvia Lim and Mr Faisal Manap) were more seasoned politicians, Ms Khan confessed to them that she had lied, and sought their guidance.
“They (Mr Pritam Singh, Ms Sylvia Lim and Mr Faisal Manap) told her that the best thing for her to do would be to continue with the narrative that she had already given in Parliament on Aug 3 (ie keep to the lie).
“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.”
In a text message sent to her secretarial assistant Loh Pei Ying and WP volunteer Yudhishthra Nathan, Ms Khan wrote: “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.”
“The reference to taking the ‘information to the grave’ was that Ms Khan should continue to lie about the sexual assault case and allegation against the police,” said the summary.
It also stated that Mr Singh visited Ms Khan at home on Oct 3 and “told her that if she kept to her existing narrative on the untruths which she had said on Aug 3, there would be no judgement by him”.
“Ms Khan understood, from what Mr Pritam Singh said, that Mr Pritam Singh was advising her to continue to lie, should the matter come up the next day (Oct 4) during the Parliamentary session,” the summary said.
Ms Khan was questioned in Parliament on Oct 4 by Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam about it, and she kept with the lie.
She then met with Mr Singh and Ms Lim on Oct 4.
“They discussed the next steps, including about a possible Committee of Privileges which might be set up to look at Ms Khan’s conduct,” the report said.
“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. Nor did they suggest that Ms Khan clarify the truth in Parliament.”
Ms Khan also sought advice from Mr Singh and Ms Lim when she received an email from police on Oct 7, inviting her to assist them in investigating the matters she had raised.
“They directed her not to respond to the Police and to ignore the requests, as the police could not compel Ms Khan to speak with the police,” the report said.
On Oct 12, she was called to a meeting by Mr Singh, during which she met with him and Ms Lim.
“By then, Mr Pritam Singh and Ms Sylvia Lim came to the view that the matter would not be dropped, and was not going to go away.
“The three of them discussed together, and decided that 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.”
She then made a personal explanation in Parliament on Nov 1, in which she clarified that she had lied on Aug 3 and Oct 4.
Read the report in full here.