Downfall complete: Oppo leader Singh throws Khan under bus for lying

Former MP Raeesah Khan and Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh. Photo: Prime Minister’s Office, Raeesah Khan/Facebook
Former MP Raeesah Khan and Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh. Photo: Prime Minister’s Office, Raeesah Khan/Facebook

Raeesah Khan lied repeatedly in parliament in the run-up to her resignation, Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh said today.

Singh said at a news conference that party leaders knew that Khan, 27, lied a week after she made false statements in an August speech regarding police mistreatment of a rape victim. She then ignored the chance to come clean and lied again when questioned by Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam in October.

Khan resigned this week after fessing up last month about being personally involved in a story about cops making inappropriate, victim-blaming comments to a woman. 

Her August speech was meant to rally support for advancing women’s rights but instead became a distraction that blew up into a full-blown scandal.

After Khan’s statements were questioned, Singh said he told her to dig deeper and contact the victim for more details on what had happened. But Khan admitted to Singh, Chairwoman Sylvia Lim and vice-chair Faisal Manap that she lied to conceal her own personal struggles with sexual assault, as she had heard the story in a victim support group.

“After being repeatedly pressed, a number of new facts and disturbing personal revelations were disclosed. These concerned Raeesah’s sexual assault and events which were unknown to the party leadership at that time, and other related matters of a deeply personal nature,” Singh said, adding that he gave her “space” to inform her family about her assault so that she could correct the record in the next parliament session.

However, she came down with shingles in September and refused to disclose more details at an October hearing. She finally came clean in November.

“Why she didn’t take heed of that instruction, why did she ignore it, that’s not a question I can answer,” Singh said of her failure to rectify the mistake in October.

The party did not mention whether Khan faced further displicine after announcing last month that it had formed a panel to look into her conduct. There have been no updates from a parliamentary committee looking into the matter either.

In her resignation letter, Khan apologized for her actions and said she would spend more time with her family and on causes she is passionate about. She has not responded to Coconuts’ queries since Tuesday.

The party’s chair Sylvia Lim also announced in the conference today that the three remaining Sengkang GRC MPs He Ting Ru, Jamus Lim and Louis Chua will continue to serve for the remainder of the term. 

There will not be a by-election as it only happens when all members have vacated the seats.

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