'Serious allegations' made in Committee of Privileges interim report without hearing WP leaders' evidence: Workers' Party

Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh is prepared to give evidence before the Committee of Privileges.

Jane Zhang | December 05, 2021, 08:23 PM

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The Workers' Party (WP) has released a media statement on Dec. 5, two days after a special report by the Parliamentary Committee of Privileges was released on Friday night (Dec. 3).

The interim report included claims by former WP Member of Parliament (MP) Raeesah Khan that WP leaders told her in a meeting on Aug. 8 that there was no need for her to clarify a falsehood she had said in Parliament on Aug. 3.

Differing accounts of what happened

The Committee of Privileges met on Nov. 29, Dec. 2, and Dec. 3 to consider the complaint made by Leader of the House Indranee Rajah against Raeesah, after it was revealed that Raeesah had falsely claimed she had accompanied a rape victim to the police station.

The Committee's special report, which was released on Dec. 3, included Raeesah's testimony that she was told by WP leaders Pritam Singh, Sylvia Lim, and Faisal Manap in a meeting on Aug. 8 that there was no need for the truth to be told.

However, in a press conference on Dec. 2, Singh had said that in the lead up to the Oct. 4 Parliamentary sitting (where Raeesah repeated her untruth), it had been communicated with Raeesah that any Parliamentary clarification on the matter would be hers to make in her capacity as an elected MP.

Three other members of the WP — Loh Pei Ying (Raeesah's former Secretarial Assistant), Lim Hang Ling (Raeesah's former Legislative Assistant), and Yudhishthra Nathan — also gave evidence to the Committee over Dec. 2 and Dec. 3.

Special report can be made at any time

A press release by the Office of the Clerk of Parliament stated that based on the oral evidence heard over those two days, the Committee decided to present the special report to Parliament on Dec. 3.

Under Standing Order 105 (2), the Committee may "make a Special Report to Parliament on any matter which it may think fit to bring to the notice of Parliament" at any time during its proceedings.

The press release said that the "Committee will continue to investigate the complaint and will hear further evidence if it sees fit".

Serious allegations made against WP leaders: WP

In their Dec. 5 statement, the WP stated that they "note" the release of the interim report by the Committee of Privileges.

The WP added that serious allegations were made against WP leaders, but no evidence was taken from them.

The statement reiterated that Singh "made it clear" on Dec. 2 that he is prepared to give evidence before the Committee of Privileges.

Prudent for response to be given at appropriate forum and juncture

Responding to questions from members of the public about why the WP leaders have not yet responded to the interim report, the statement said:

"We understand that the Committee’s work remains in progress. It is thus prudent for a response to be given at the appropriate forum and juncture."

The WP also thanked everyone who had shared messages of encouragement with the Party, including residences of Aljunied GRC, Hougang SMC, and Sengkang GRC, as well as Party members, volunteers, and members of the public.

Here is the WP's statement in full:

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Top photo via Facebook / Workers’ Party. 

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