SINGAPORE – Two Workers’ Party (WP) members closely linked to former Sengkang GRC MP Raeesah Khan have resigned from the opposition party.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Mr Yudhishthra Nathan and Ms Loh Peiying said they put in their resignation papers to WP chief Pritam Singh but had stopped their involvement in party volunteer work since December 2021.
The Facebook post said the two of them were members only in name for the past 11 months and did not actively contribute to the party.
Mr Nathan and Ms Loh gave evidence at a Parliamentary Committee of Privileges (COP) hearing convened in December 2021 to investigate Ms Khan’s conduct.
Ms Khan admitted to lying in Parliament about a sexual assault case in August 2021. She resigned from the WP a few months later in November.
Ms Loh was Ms Khan’s secretarial assistant and a party member for 10 years who earlier served as Mr Singh’s secretarial assistant. Mr Nathan was a WP volunteer since 2013, and joined the party in 2016, rising to council member of the WP youth wing.
In the Facebook post, Mr Nathan and Ms Loh – both WP cadre members – said the last 11 months have not been easy and that they had reached a point where they both wanted to move on.
It said: “We want to return to being regular citizens, free to express ourselves as individuals, without others questioning our loyalties and allegiances.
“We have both been with the party for nine years or more, and have been cadres since 2016. In these years, we have loved the party dearly, and contributed actively in many teams and departments, both grassroots and strategic.”
Cadre members are part of the party’s inner circle, with the power to elect its leadership.
In their evidence to the COP, Mr Nathan and Ms Loh appeared to contradict the version of events offered by WP leaders, including Mr Singh, that pinned the blame solely on Ms Khan for lying in Parliament.
The pair said Ms Khan was not the sole actor in allowing her lie in Parliament to go uncorrected.
They also said WP leaders had asked Ms Khan to “take the information to the grave”. Party leaders, the two members said, were also unfair to Ms Khan by not being transparent about their own role in the incident.
The COP released its full findings in February, and recommended that Ms Khan be fined $35,000 for lying in Parliament multiple times and abusing her parliamentary privilege.
It also referred Mr Singh, who is WP secretary-general, and WP vice-chairman Faisal Manap to the police for investigations.
In the Facebook post, Mr Nathan and Ms Loh said they hold memories of their time in WP with fondness.
“We have made lifelong friends in each other, and with others along the way. There are many good people in the rank and file of the Workers’ Party who have dedicated their lives towards building a better Singapore.
“We hope they remember to keep the welfare of Singaporeans at the centre of all that they do.”