SINGAPORE - Former Workers' Party (WP) MP Raeesah Khan has stuck to her account of the opposition party's leaders advising her to keep up a lie she made in Parliament that ultimately led to her resigning from the party.
She insisted, in her testimony to a parliamentary committee, that WP chief Pritam Singh had used the words "take it to the grave" during an Aug 8 meeting where she admitted to him, WP chair Sylvia Lim and vice-chair Faisal Manap that she had lied in the House on Aug 3.
Testifying again before the Committee of Privileges investigating her conduct for fabricating details about the police's handling of a sexual assault case, she also refuted evidence previously given by the WP leaders to the committee.
Ms Khan, who was elected as an MP for Sengkang GRC last year, also disagreed "completely" with Mr Singh's earlier statements that she had told a "complete, utter fabrication" and a "bare lie" by saying the WP leaders had advised her to take her lie to the grave.
In video footage released on Wednesday (Dec 22) by the committee, she gave her version of the events of the Aug 8 meeting.
At the meeting, Ms Khan had explained that she lied because she had undergone a traumatic episode as a victim of a serious sexual assault herself.
"After I made that admission (about the lie), there was of course discussion about my well-being, which I think (was) rightly so because I had just shared a very deeply personal experience that I've had," she told the committee on Wednesday.
"And the discussion that followed was that we would not pursue the matter further. And, like in my message, Mr Singh used the words 'take it to the grave'."
Ms Khan was referring to a text message she sent to WP members Loh Pei Ying and Yudhishthra Nathan shortly after the meeting, where she said the party leaders had "agreed that the best thing to do is to take the information to the grave".
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong, who sits on the committee, then sought to confirm that the words "take it to the grave" had come from Mr Singh, who is Leader of the Opposition, and were spoken in the presence of Ms Lim and Mr Faisal.
"Are you very clear about that? Is that your recollection?" he asked.
Ms Khan said: "Yes, I'm very clear… It is not a phrase that I would usually use. So it did not come from me."
According to the committee's first report issued on Dec 3, Ms Khan had alleged that the WP leaders had, during this meeting, advised her to "continue with the narrative" she falsely gave on Aug 3, and that if she and the party could "get away with it", there was no need to clarify and tell the truth - even if the matter was brought up again.
Mr Singh, Ms Lim and Mr Faisal have all disputed her account in their testimonies to the committee, saying they never directed her to lie.
Mr Singh has said that he opted to give Ms Khan time to deal with the matter and to speak to her parents first.
On Wednesday, Ms Khan said she did not recollect him telling her to inform her parents, "not in the slightest".
Mr Singh has also acknowledged that he did not take any steps from Aug 8 to Oct 3, to get her to correct her false statement.
He had also told the committee that the WP leaders were shocked, sympathetic and more concerned about Ms Khan's well-being after she revealed her sexual assault to them.
Mr Faisal said the three WP leaders were overwhelmed, and that there was zero discussion relating to the lie from then on.
Ms Khan on Wednesday told the committee that this was not her recollection.
"I think (Mr Faisal is) downplaying what the discussion was," she added.
Asked for her response to Mr Singh saying she was lying, Ms Khan said: "I disagree completely. I've come here to tell the truth. And I've made an oath to do so as well. And I've never strayed from that."
The committee also noted in its report on Wednesday - the sixth so far - that Ms Khan and the three WP leaders then proceeded on Aug 8 to discuss a statement on topics of female genital cutting and polygamy which she had also raised in her speech on Aug 3.
"Contrary to how she was characterised as being emotionally unstable, she felt that she was of sound mind as shown by her being able to discuss the statement at length," said the report.
Watch the video of the hearing: