The Straits Times says

A necessary process to get to the truth

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Parliament's Committee of Privileges released its report on Thursday, recommending that Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh be referred to the Public Prosecutor for further investigations and that former Workers' Party MP Raeesah Khan be fined a total of $35,000 for their involvement in lies told by Ms Khan in Parliament in August and October last year. Mr Singh's referral is with a view to considering if criminal proceedings ought to be instituted regarding his conduct before the eight-member panel. The committee recommended that WP vice-chairman Faisal Manap, an MP for Aljunied GRC, also be referred to the Public Prosecutor for further investigations over his refusal to answer relevant questions during its hearings, and to also consider if criminal proceedings ought to be instituted.

As the report makes clear, there were two central issues for the committee to consider: First, whether Ms Khan had lied and repeated the lie; and, should she have lied, the penalty that should be imposed on her. There is no dispute over the liability issue since she admitted to having lied and to having repeated the untruth. Given the admission, the committee then had to determine the penalty. That determination would have to reflect her level of responsibility, which would, in turn, depend on what she had been told to do by three senior WP leaders. The final recommendations are severe sanctions that reflect the importance attached to the issue of parliamentary integrity and what is expected of Members of Parliament.

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