On Tuesday (Feb. 15), Parliament voted to accept the Committee of Privileges' (COP's) recommendations relating to falsehoods stated said by former Workers' Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) Raeesah Khan.
In Parliament on Aug. 3, 2021, Raeesah had falsely stated she had accompanied a survivor of sexual assault to the police station, where a police officer allegedly made comments about the survivor's dressing and the fact that she had been drinking.
Raeesah then repeated the lie again on Oct. 4, 2021.
First motion on Raeesah's lies
After four hours of debate and speeches by 10 different MPs, two motions were passed in Parliament on Tuesday.
The first concerns the COP's recommendation that Raeesah be fined S$25,000 for lying twice in Parliament on Aug. 3, 2021, and an additional S$10,000 for repeating the falsehood in Parliament again on Oct. 4, 2021.
The vote on the motion was split into two parts so that MPs could vote on each part separately.
Leader of the House Indranee Rajah proposed this after Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh said that the WP would not support the S$10,000 fine as "implicit in that is an acknowledgement that [my and WP vice-chair Faisal Manap's] actions mitigate the quantum".
Pritam Singh objected to motion on smaller fine of S$10,000 for Raeesah Khan
The COP report said in Paragraph 218 that due to the "substantial mitigating factor" that Raeesah acted in accordance with the guidance of the WP leaders, and that she was acting on their advice to "bury the Untruth", she should get a smaller fine.
In his speech, Singh said, "...the Workers’ Party disagrees with the reasons behind the lower quantum of fine for Ms Khan, because it is predicated on alleged guidance given to her by myself, Ms Lim, and Mr Faisal, a case which the three of us reject."
When the first part of the first motion was put to a vote, there was no audible dissent and the motion passed.
In the vote on the second part of the first motion, the nine Workers' Party MPs and the two Progress Singapore Party Non-Constituency Members of Parliament (NCMPs) voiced their dissent, and subsequently stood in order for their dissent to be recorded.
The motion was passed.
Second motion on referring Singh and Faisal to public prosecutor
The second motion was regarding the COP's recommendation that Singh and Faisal be referred to the Public Prosecutor, and to defer any parliamentary sanctions against Singh, Faisal, and chairwoman Sylvia Lim until any possible investigations and criminal proceedings against Singh conclude.
Prior to the voice vote, Singh clarified the WP's decision to vote no:
"While Mr Faisal and myself are prepared to be referred to the Public Prosecutor, we don't agree with this particular paragraph because the basis of the referral to the Public Prosecutor is from the findings of the Committee of Privileges and we reject the allegation that we told untruths."
When the voice vote was taken, the WP MPs dissented with the motion and stood to have their dissent recorded.
The motion was passed.
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Top photo via YouTube / MCI.