MP Raeesah Khan faces party discipline for distorting rape victim’s story

Sengkang MP Raeesah Khan at an exhibition in a photo dated Sept. 29. Photo: Raeesah Khan/Instagram
Sengkang MP Raeesah Khan at an exhibition in a photo dated Sept. 29. Photo: Raeesah Khan/Instagram

Singaporean opposition leader Pritam Singh and two senior members of his party have formed a panel to look into MP Raeesah Khan’s false story about a rape victim told in Parliament.

Any discipline it metes out would be separate from an oversight committee reviewing a complaint that Khan breached parliamentary privilege by lying in an early August speech about being there when a rape victim went to the police. The other two panelists are party chairman Sylvia Lim and vice-chair Faisal Manap.

“The Workers’ Party Central Executive Committee has approved the formation of a Disciplinary Panel to look into the admissions made by MP Raeesah Khan in Parliament on 1 Nov 2021, arising from an earlier speech made by the MP in Parliament on 3 Aug 2021,” the statement said. 

Khan, 27, yesterday confessed to lying about having a role in the story in which she said an officer made inappropriate, victim-blaming comments to the victim. The Sengkang MP had used the anecdote to demonstrate the need for better police training during a women’s empowerment speech which drew scrutiny from the police and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, who last month pressed her for more details that Khan declined to provide.

Yesterday, Khan admitted to lying about her role but said she didn’t fabricate the original story. She instead said that she had heard it from a member of a sexual assault support group. She apologized for sharing the story without the victim’s consent and said she had attended the group because she too had been a victim of sexual violence – something she had not wanted to be made public. 

It was not clear what form of discipline she could face from the Committee of Privileges of Parliament, which is comprised of seven lawmakers from the ruling People’s Action Party and Dennis Tan from the Workers’ Party. 

“The Panel will report its findings and recommendations to the CEC after it completes its work,” the same statement said, referring to the party’s Central Executive Committee. “The work of the Party’s Disciplinary Panel is separate from any decision the Committee of Privileges of Parliament may make.”

Other stories:

Sengkang MP lied about her role in rape victim’s story, was also sex violence victim

Sengkang MP Raeesah Khan to be questioned over police misconduct

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