Singapore’s parliamentary committee has agreed that former Workers’ Party member Raeesah Khan will be fined for repeatedly lying and making false statements in her speech meant to advocate women’s rights.
In a lengthy four-hour debate yesterday evening, the parliament voted in favor for Khan to be fined S$35,000 (US$26,000) for lying in parliament multiple times last year, while Workers’ Party leaders Pritam Singh and Faisal Manap will continue to face probes for allegedly lying under oath and being uncooperative when questioned by the committee.
Of the S$35,000, S$25,000 was for lying in parliament last August by inserting herself into the story of a rape victim alleging police mistreatment, and the remaining for lying again in October when questioned by Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam. Khan finally came clean in November that she had overheard the story at a support group so as to protect her secret history as a victim of sexual violence.
Shortly after, she resigned as a Workers’ Party member and Sengkang GRC MP.
The Workers’ Party leaders, on the other hand, will be referred to the public prosecutor instead of being fined. The parliamentary committee found that Singh had lied while giving evidence under oath and Manap should be investigated further for refusing to answer questions by the committee during the intense hearings when the entire opposition was called in for questioning.
Singh yesterday said that he disagrees with the findings but will cooperate when referred to the public prosecutor. Manap, who represents the Aljunied GRC, said he will continue his MP duties like having meet-the-people sessions as per normal.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also gave his two cents, agreeing with the committee to refer the opposition leaders to the public prosecutor.
“If you tell lies, how can the public trust you? If someone in a position of responsibility tells lies, and visibly gets away with it, how can the public trust the system? And if Parliament condones lying among its own members, how can Singaporeans trust the institution of Parliament?” he said.
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