Sylvia Lim's notes from WP meeting damaging to Pritam Singh's testimony: COP

WP chairman Sylvia Lim speaking at the Committee of Privileges hearing on Dec 13, 2021. PHOTO: GOV.SG

SINGAPORE - Parts of Workers' Party (WP) chairman Sylvia Lim's testimony before the Committee of Privileges were useful, even though she also lied under oath, the committee said in a report on Thursday (Feb 10).

The committee said Ms Lim had provided evidence that informed its finding that Leader of the Opposition and WP chief Pritam Singh had guided former Sengkang GRC MP Raeesah Khan to continue her Aug 3 untruth in Parliament ahead of the Oct 4 parliamentary sitting.

The committee referred to her notes on the WP's internal disciplinary panel meeting on Nov 29, between Mr Singh, Ms Lim, party vice-chairman Faisal Manap and Ms Khan.

Ms Lim recorded in her notes that Mr Singh had asked Ms Khan: "Before Oct session, I met you + told you it was your call..."

The Committee of Privileges said it came to know of this only after Ms Lim voluntarily made the notes available on Dec 13, the day she appeared before the committee to give evidence.

In her testimony, Ms Lim was asked for her views on what Mr Singh had said to Ms Khan during the Nov 29 meeting. She told the committee that he seemed to have said it was for Ms Khan to decide what to do on Oct 4, if the issue arose in Parliament.

The committee said Ms Lim had specifically referred it to the part of her notes, which showed that on Nov 29, Mr Singh had said to Ms Khan that he had given her a choice on Oct 3 on whether to tell the truth.

"Ms Lim, a lawyer and chairman of the WP, would have appreciated the effect of such evidence," it said.

"It would be, and was, extremely damaging to the testimony given by Mr Singh - it directly contradicted Mr Singh's evidence that he did not give Ms Khan a choice."

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That Ms Lim was prepared to voluntarily tender this evidence, which was damaging to the leader of her party, is relevant and should be taken into account by Parliament in assessing Ms Lim's position, said the report.

However, the committee also found that Ms Lim, together with Mr Singh and Mr Faisal, had lied under oath in their testimonies based on evidence it has available.

It cited the Aug 8 meeting between Ms Khan and the three senior WP leaders. At the meeting, the committee said, Ms Khan had confessed to lying in Parliament on Aug 3, and Mr Singh had told her to "take the information to the grave".

In their testimonies in December, the three leaders had denied this version of events, which had been given by Ms Khan.

In another part of her evidence, Ms Lim said she could not "fathom" the possibility that Mr Singh would have given Ms Khan a choice to lie again if the matter of the untruth came up in Parliament on Oct 4, said the committee.

"Ms Lim and Mr Faisal have each been somewhat helpful to the committee, albeit in a limited way," it said. "Parliament could therefore consider itself dealing with their conduct, at an appropriate time."

See the full report released by the Committee of Privileges.

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