Timeline: What we know so far from Aug. 3-Dec. 2 based on what Pritam Singh & Raeesah Khan said

What we know so far.

Sulaiman Daud | Nigel Chua | December 04, 2021, 05:04 PM

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(Editor's note: This article has been updated for accuracy.)

Late on Friday night (Dec. 3), the Office of the Clerk of Parliament issued a press release on the investigation into Raeesah Khan's lie in Parliament.

The Committee of Privileges presented a Special Report to Parliament, which includes a summary of the evidence presented to Parliament so far.

During Raeesah's hearing before the Committee, she gave an account of the events that transpired since the initial Aug. 3 speech in which she lied about accompanying a victim of sexual assault to a police station in Singapore.

Three others also gave evidence to the Committee over Dec. 2 and 3:

  • Loh Pei Ying, Raeesah's former Secretarial Assistant, and a member of the Workers' Party.
  • Lim Hang Ling, Raeesah's former Legislative Assistant, and a member of the Workers' Party.
  • Yudhishthra Nathan, a member of the Workers' Party.

On Dec. 2, the Workers' Party held a press conference where party Secretary-General Pritam Singh, the Leader of the Opposition, also gave an account of the events.

Here's a timeline of the events, and what Singh and Raeesah each said occurred at key points, with some additional input from Loh, Lim and Nathan.

Aug. 3

Raeesah gave a speech in Parliament in which she falsely claimed that she had accompanied a victim of sexual assault to a police station, where a police officer allegedly made comments about the victim's dressing and the fact that she had been drinking.

In fact, this anecdote came from a member of a sexual assault survivor support group, of which Raeesah was also a member.

At some point after the speech (the report does not state exactly when), Singh asked Raeesah about the anecdote she had shared.

According to Singh in the press conference:

"In the course of preparing for her speech on the motion, titled 'Empowering Women', on the Workers’ Party motion, entitled 'Empowering Women', on Aug. 3, Raeesah Khan was put on notice through the Workers’ Party usual pre-parliamentary processes to be ready to substantiate her account that she had followed the victim to the police station, in the event she was queried in the course of the debate."

Aug. 4

In Parliament, Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan asked Raeesah to provide more details, so that the incident could be investigated.

Raeesah refused, saying that she did not wish to "re-traumatise" the victim.

She also claimed that she had been unable to get in touch with the victim since then.

According to Singh, at some point after she made the speech and in the "course of the days that followed, he asked Raeesah to make her best efforts to contact the victim or to contact the individuals who brought the victim's case to her attention.

He said, "Initially, Raeesah stuck to her untruth in her communication with me."

Aug. 7

Raeesah had a short phone call with Singh, and informed him that her anecdote was not truthful.

Aug. 8

According to the report, Raeesah met with Singh, party chair Sylvia Lim, and party vice-chair Muhammad Faisal bin Abdul Manap.

She told them she had lied in Parliament on Aug. 3, and she had no way of substantiating her claims. She sought their guidance as they were the more experienced politicians.

Singh, Lim and Faisal told her that the "best thing for her to do would be to continue with the narrative that she had already given in Parliament" on Aug. 3, 2021, which meant keeping to the lie.

The report also said they had told her that if she and the Workers' Party could "get away with it, there was no need to clarify the lie.

"If the matter was brought up again, there would also be no need for her to clarify and there was no need for the truth to be told," the report said, quoting Raeesah.

In the press conference, Singh said:

"After being repeatedly pressed a number of new facts and disturbing personal revelations were disclosed. These concerned Raeesah's sexual assault, an event which was unknown to the party leadership at that time, and other related matters of a deeply personal nature.

Raeesah shared that her personal trauma and sexual assault explained why she was not truthful about accompanying the victim to the police station, as she had asserted in her speech on Aug. 3. She admitted this to the party leadership about a week after she had delivered her speech."

Sent a message to Loh and Nathan

According to the report, on the same day, Raeesah told Loh and Nathan what had transpired in her meeting with Singh, Lim and Faisal Manap, and texted the following message to them:

"Hey guys, I just met pritam, Sylvia and Faisal. And we spoke about the Muslim issue and the police accusation. I told them what I told you guys, and they’ve agreed that the best thing to do is to take the information to the grave. They also suggested that I write a statement to send out this evening."

The "Muslim issue" refers to certain Muslim issues affecting women which Raeesah had mentioned in her Aug. 3 speech.

The "statement" refers to Muslim issues, and Raeesah put out a Facebook post on Aug. 8 on the matter.

The report added, "The reference to taking the 'information to the grave' was that Ms Khan should continue to lie about the sexual assault case and allegation against the police."

Pritam Singh's reasoning

During the press conference, Singh said:

"Of immediate concern to me was the fact that Raeesah had not previously informed her family members of her sexual assault, which had traumatised her greatly.

In my judgment, it was important that she did so before she could fully address the reasons behind her untruthful conduct in Parliament, and to correct the record.

In view of her sexual assault and my assessment of her state of mind, I was prepared to give her the space necessary to address the matter with her loved ones."

Aug. 10

According to the report, Nathan and Loh met with Singh on a separate matter.

Singh confirmed that he was aware that Raeesah had lied in Parliament, but did not give "any indication that any clarification of the lie would be made".


In the press conference, Singh said Raeesah came down with a case of the shingles, and was unable to attend Parliament that month.

Oct. 3

From the report

Singh met Raeesah at her house. No one else was present.

She was told by Singh that there would be no consequences if she continued the lie from Aug. 3.

Singh did not ask her to clarify and state the truth in Parliament the next day.

According to the press conference

Singh said: "It was nonetheless made known to her before the Parliamentary sitting in October, that any Parliamentary clarification on this matter was hers to make in her capacity as an elected Member of Parliament."

Oct. 4 - Parliament sitting

Raeesah was questioned by the Minister for Home Affairs in Parliament. She was asked if the incident that she had recounted in Parliament on Aug. 3 had in fact taken place.

Raeesah maintained her lie and said that what she had said on Aug. 3 was true, and that the incident had taken place as described by her.

Later on Oct. 4

According to the report, Raeesah met with Singh and Lim at Singh’s office in Parliament. They discussed the next steps, including about a possible Committee of Privileges which might be set up to investigate.

Neither Singh nor Lim asked Raeesah why she had lied again earlier, in answering questions asked by Shanmugam. Nor did they suggest that Raeesah clarify the truth in Parliament.

According to the press conference:

Singh said:

"When questioned by the Minister for Home Affairs in Parliament on the... fourth of October, Raeesah repeated an untruth on the Parliamentary record, which was wholly inconsistent with the revelations she had shared with the party leadership after the third of August.

Almost immediately after Parliament adjourned in October, Raeesah agreed with the party leadership that she had to set the record right forthwith. I shared with her that it was the correct thing to do. The next earliest opportunity to do so in Parliament was on the first of November, when the Member made the personal explanation under Standing Order 25."

Oct. 7

According to the report, Raeesah received an email from the police dated Oct. 7, inviting her to assist them with investigations.

The report said:

"Ms Khan sought advice from Mr Pritam Singh and Ms Sylvia Lim when she received this email. They directed her not to respond to the police and to ignore the requests, as the police could not compel Ms Khan to speak with the police.

Ms Khan’s concern was that if she had gone to the police, giving a statement, without any privileges, as opposed to making a clarification in Parliament, where she would have privileges."

Oct. 12

According to the report, Raeesah attended a meeting with Singh and Lim.

The report said:

"By then, Mr Pritam Singh and Ms Sylvia Lim came to the view that the matter would not be dropped, and was not going to go away.

The three of them discussed together, and decided that Ms Khan should come clean and tell the truth. At this meeting, Ms Khan asked, if disciplinary action will be taken against her and the answer given to her was no."

Nov. 1 - Parliament sitting

Raeesah admitted in Parliament that she had lied in her Aug. 3 speech.

Following the speech, Leader of the House Indranee Rajah raised a complaint against Raeesah and referred the matter to the Committee of Privileges.

Singh issued a statement, saying that Raeesah should not have been untruthful in Parliament.

Nov. 2

The Workers' Party announced it would form a disciplinary panel to look into Raeesah's admissions.

The panel comprised Singh, Lim and Faisal Manap.

According to the report, Raeesah was "shocked and surprised" to learn of this.

Nov. 8

According to the report, Raeesah met with the panel to explain why she had lied more than once in Parliament.

Nov. 29

According to the report, Raeesah met with the panel again, to discuss her performance as an MP.

According to the report:

"At that meeting, it was suggested to her by Mr Pritam Singh and Ms Sylvia Lim that she should resign as a member of the WP. It was suggested to her that this was for her wellbeing and because she no longer had the support of fellow Sengkang GRC MPs."

Nov. 30

Raeesah resigned from the Workers' Party.

Dec. 2

The Workers' Party held a press conference to discuss Raeesah's resignation, among other things.

On the same day, the Committee of Privileges held hearings with Raeesah, Loh and Lim Hang Ling.

Dec. 3

The Committee held a hearing with Nathan.

The Committee releases its Special Report.

Top image from Gov.sg YouTube and WP Facebook.

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