The People's Action Party (PAP) released a statement on Monday (Jul. 6) on Workers' Party (WP) candidate Raeesah Khan, who apologised on Sunday (Jul. 5) night for allegedly making racial comments on social media.
Two police reports had been lodged against Raeesah, a candidate running in WP's Sengkang Group Representation Constituency (GRC) team.
Wasn't her intention to cause social division
In her apology on Sunday night, Raeesah said it was never her intention to cause any social division, but rather wanted to raise awareness on minority concerns.
She then apologised to any racial group or community who had been hurt by her comments.
Raeesah explained that she was passionate about minority issues regardless of race, and in her passion, had made improper remarks, and had to be accountable for them.
"My remarks were insensitive, and I regret making them," she said. She added that she will be cooperating fully with any police investigations.
In response to questions from the media, Secretary-General Pritam Singh said that he was not aware of Raeesah's posts, but that the WP team will be supporting her, and the Sengkang GRC team will be "here with her".
He also said that Raeesah would continue campaigning with the Sengkang GRC team, but that the party would review the incident after campaigning.
PAP: WP should state its stand on Khan's posts
The statement by the PAP stated that the WP should state its stance on Khan's posts, "since she has admitted to making highly derogatory statements about Chinese and Christians."
"Why does the WP still consider her worthy of consideration as an MP?", the statement asked.
The PAP called the issue a "serious matter" and said that it "goes to the fundamental principles on which our country was built.
The statement also said that, in the interest of transparency, the WP should ask Raeesah to make her other posts public and review them.
"This will allow voters to make a clear assessment of her views, and her suitability to be elected into Parliament."
The statement closed by turning the "blank cheque" analogy back around on the WP, which has come up a number of times so far in the GE2020 campaigning period:
"The WP should not ask voters to write it a blank cheque in Sengkang or anywhere else it contests."
Here is the PAP's statement in full:
"One of the Workers’ Party’s candidates for Sengkang GRC, Ms Raeesah Khan, is being investigated for criminal offences, including an offence of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race.
The WP’s Secretary General Mr Pritam Singh said yesterday that his Party would review the matter after the General Election. Mr Singh added that Ms Raeesah would meanwhile continue with her campaign in Sengkang.
In fairness to voters, both in Sengkang and elsewhere, the WP should state its stand on Ms Raeesah’s posts, since she has admitted to making highly derogatory statements about Chinese and Christians.
Why does the WP still consider her worthy of consideration as an MP? This is a serious matter, which goes to the fundamental principles on which our country has been built.
In the interests of transparency, the WP should also ask Ms Raeesah to make public her other posts (which were previously public) and review those too. This will allow voters to make a clear assessment of her views, and her suitability to be elected into Parliament.
The WP should not ask voters to write it a blank cheque in Sengkang or anywhere else it contests."
Top photo via Raeesah Khan/FB, Wikipedia.