The Workers' Party (WP) held a press conference on Dec. 2 to share more information following Raeesah Khan's resignation.
Resign or be expelled by the party
Party chief Pritam Singh said that Raeesah tendered her resignation before the disciplinary panel could submit its recommendations to the Central Executive Committee (CEC) on Nov. 30.
The disciplinary panel consists of Singh, who is the Secretary-General, Chair Sylvia Lim and Vice-Chair Faisal Manap.
The recommendations were made after some members of the party were invited to share their views on the matter, Singh shared.
As the committee did not receive her resignation in writing by then, the CEC proceeded to deliberate the recommendations made by the disciplinary panel.
Singh said that the CEC voted "overwhelmingly" that Raeesah would have been expected to resign on her own accord, failing which, she would be expelled from the party.
Raeesah was not present at the press conference.
On making sure such incidents won't happen again
In response to a question from the media about what checks are there in place to ensure this "doesn't happen again", Singh said that there was a "usual pre-parliamentary process".
Raeesah was advised to be ready to substantiate her allegations made on Aug. 3, namely that she had followed the victim to the police station, in case she was queried about this during the debate.
However, she ignored that instruction, Singh said.
"There was a process that was undertaken, she had put that anecdote down [...] it was made known to her that you had better be ready to substantiate this, because it is an allegation. On its own, an allegation, you can make an allegation and I don't think any of us will stop an MP from doing that. But she was put on notice to substantiate it.
So the process did not fail in that regard. Why she didn't take heed of that instruction. Why did she ignore it? That's not a question I can answer."
However, Singh said that the party's leadership should take responsibility and they have to be accountable to the public on what had happened.
"It's our MP, we take responsibility and we have to account to the public what has happened."
On the candidate selection process
In response to another question from the media, about what the leadership felt after the revelation, Singh shared that he felt disappointed.
"Disappointment, of course. Nobody wants this sort of outcome for their MPs."
Singh also added that the party makes its best efforts to select candidates "who are committed to looking after residents and Singaporeans, and who as a whole can represent a wide spectrum of Singapore society".
He reiterated that "no candidate selection process can be fail-proof", which was similar to answer he gave last June during the General Election in response to a question related to People Action Party's candidate Ivan Lim.
"I think no process or no selection process can eliminate the prospect of a candidate who has certain traits or characteristics that were not highlighted or were not raised initially.
But the Workers Party will undertake our best efforts to lower this prospect as best we can, while at the same time working to ensure that there's a diverse slate of candidates in concert, as I mentioned earlier, with the increasingly diverse aspirations of Singapore society."
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Top image via Mothership