Raeesah Khan refutes parts of testimony from all 3 Workers' Party leaders, says she 'would not lie on oath'

Raeesah Khan maintains that she was telling her truth in her earlier hearings before the Committee.

Sulaiman Daud | December 23, 2021, 11:03 AM

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Former Workers' Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) Raeesah Khan refuted claims made by the WP leadership and repeated the points made in her earlier testimony on Dec. 2 and 3.

Brought back by the Committee of Privileges for another hearing on Dec. 22, Raeesah also rejected WP leader Pritam Singh's claim that she was lying in her earlier testimony.

Aug. 8 meeting with WP leaders

Pritam Singh said 'take it to the grave' : Raeesah Khan

Minister Edwin Tong began with the Aug. 8 meeting between Raeesah and the WP leaders, namely Singh, party chair Sylvia Lim and vice chair Muhamad Faisal bin Abdul Manap.

This took place a day after she admitted to Singh that she had lied in Parliament while giving a speech on Aug. 3.

Tong repeated Faisal's testimony, that A) the leaders were overwhelmed when Raeesah admitted the lie and told them that she was a sexual assault survivor, and that B) as a result, there were no further discussions relating to her admission that she lied in Parliament.

Raeesah disagreed, and said that was not her recollection. "I think he's downplaying what the discussion was," she said.

She also said that the discussion that followed was that "we would not pursue the matter further."

Raeesah also claimed that Singh used the phrase, "take it to the grave", which was the same phrase she would use in a WhatsApp message to party cadre members Loh Pei Ying and Yudhishthra Nathan.

"Edwin Tong: So the words 'take it to the grave' came from Mr Singh.

Raeesah Khan: Yes.

ET: Are you very clear about that? Is that your recollection?

RK: Yes, I'm very clear.

ET: All right. And that's the language that you use in the message that you sent to Mr Nathan and Ms Loh at 12:41pm.

RK: Yes, it is not a phrase that I will usually use. So it did not come from me.

ET: All right. Did he say this in the presence of Ms Lim and Mr Faisal?

RK: Yes, he did."

Pritam Singh mentioned Committee of Privileges in Aug. 8 meeting : Raeesah Khan

Tong then asked Raeesah to read Singh's testimony related to Raeesah's description of the Aug. 8 meeting.

Tong said, "So Mr Singh completely disagrees with your account of what happened at the meeting. Can you give us your response to that? Would you agree with Mr Singh? He says you're lying."

Raeesah disagreed completely, and said, "I've come here to tell the truth, and I made an oath to do so as well, and I have never strayed from that."

Raeesah also disagreed with Singh's testimony that the Committee of Privileges was not discussed on Aug. 8, although Singh said he did not recall if there was a discussion on the Committee at that point.

Tong asked if Singh mentioned the Committee on this occasion.

Raeesah said, "Yes, his exact words that I can recollect were that my initial reaction or my initial instinct is to put you through the Committee of Privileges."

Raeesah also disagreed with Singh's testimony that she was told to inform her father (paraphrased by Tong), and that "we will deal with this matter."

"ET: Do you recollect that?

RK: No, not in the slightest.

ET: Was there any discussion at that point about whether you should disclose this to your father or to your family?

RK: No."

Raeesah disagreed with Tong's question that the impression he got from the testimonies so far was that Raeesah was very emotionally affected, and unable to have a conversation on the issue.

She asked rhetorically if she was unable to have a discussion on this issue, "then why would I have been left on my own to make a decision, as they have claimed? Which is not what happened."

She added, "And to use mental illness as a way to discredit someone is I think extremely out of line."

It is not immediately clear which of the WP leaders' claims that Raeesah is referring to when she said that she was "left on her own to make a decision."

Oct. 3 meeting between Raeesah Khan and Pritam Singh at her house

"Continue the narrative"

Tong then repeated Loh's testimony about her recollection of the Oct. 12 meeting she had with Singh. At this meeting, Singh's previous Oct. 3 meeting with Raeesah at her house was discussed.

Loh said, "I don't know the full details of what he said to her, but he shared with me that he said, 'I will not judge you' to Ms Raeesah Khan."

Raeesah agreed with what Loh said, and added that there was no "directive" from Singh in the Oct. 3 meeting to "clarify" her lie in Parliament.

She repeated her assertion that Singh told her during that meeting that if she were to "continue the narrative, she would not be judged", and elaborated:

"RK: He did not put forth that it was my choice to make.

ET: And so what did he say to you?

RK: He said that if I were to continue the narrative, he would not judge me. He did not put it forth as saying you can either tell the truth or you can continue with the lie.

ET: Okay. And did he, on that occasion, tell you that you should tell the truth in Parliament?

RK: No."

First time hearing these words from Pritam Singh: Raeesah Khan

Tong read out another part of Singh's testimony, namely that he said it was possible the lie may come up in the Oct. 4 sitting of Parliament, and it was important for Raeesah to "take responsibility and ownership" of the issue.

Raeesah then claimed this is the "first time" she's hearing these words from Singh.

"ET: Did he say these words to you?

RK: No, that's...this is the first time I've heard him say these words.

ET: And then he goes on to say...'and she started getting a bit uncomfortable when I said that, and then I told her I will not judge you'. Did he say that in this way?

RK: Not in this way, no. And I was never uncomfortable.

ET: You were not uncomfortable about the conversation.

RK: No, I was not. I was in my own home."

Raeesah said she "would not lie on oath", and that she stands by what she told the Committee about the Oct. 3 meeting during her previous hearings.

Oct. 4 Parliament sitting and meeting with Sylvia Lim

Tong then moved on to Oct. 4, when there was a Parliament sitting.

Raeesah was grilled by Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam, and she repeated her lie.

If I was told to admit lie in Oct. 5 Parliament sitting, I would have: Raeesah Khan

Tong recounted Lim's testimony, who said that while it was theoretically possible for Raeesah to have clarified her lie on Oct. 5, it was not practical to do so.

However, Raeesah disagreed with this assessment. "I think if I was told to clarify on the fifth of October I would have."

Tong asked if there was any "impediment" in terms of whether her family was aware, or otherwise.

Raeesah replied, "It would have been one conversation with my parents. I think the issue would have been to include the personal anecdote in my clarification or not."

During their late night meeting on Oct. 4, Lim said that Raeesah looked "dazed and somewhat disoriented." Raeesah repudiated this.

She felt that she had two choices, either to tell the truth or to "continue the narrative." Raeesah agreed with Lim's recollection that Raeesah said, "perhaps there's another path, which is honesty".

I wasn't dazed, but I was shocked: Raeesah Khan

According to Singh's testimony:

"And then she looks up at me with this dazed look in her eyes and said, perhaps there is another way. That is, to tell the truth".

(Singh then said) 'But look at the choice you made. You've made your choice.' And from that moment, and then of course she completely starts to break down. And I say anyway, good, we're going to talk about this, which is, this point she's making about honesty. That was it."

However, Raeesah said she didn't respond to this because she was "shocked".

"I think because I was shocked because we...I had that conversation with Mr Singh on the third of October and there was no intention or directive from his part to tell the truth. I think I would have expected that...someone would say that to me if there was a conversation around telling the truth."

Tong then summarised the situation as Raeesah had taken "one path" after the Oct. 3 meeting, and after the encounter with Shanmugam on Oct. 4, she was asking Singh for his view on whether there should be "another way".

Raeesah agreed with that, and added:

"I would like to add that again. He's trying to paint this picture of me as being emotionally or mentally unstable, which again, I think is completely out of line and and hopefully there's a testimony that would say, you know, that I'm of sound mind."

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Top image from Gov.sg.

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