WP forms disciplinary panel to look into Raeesah Khan's admission she had lied in Parliament

SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party (WP) has formed a disciplinary panel to look into the conduct of MP Raeesah Khan, after she admitted to lying in Parliament about the details of a sexual assault case.

A party spokesman on Tuesday (Nov 2) said the panel will look into the admissions made by Ms Raeesah in Parliament on Monday, arising from an earlier speech made by the MP on Aug 3, when she alleged that the police had mishandled the case.

"The panel comprises secretary-general Pritam Singh, chair Sylvia Lim and vice-chair Faisal Manap. The panel will report its findings and recommendations to the central executive committee after it completes its work," said the spokesman.

He added that the work of the party's disciplinary panel is separate from any decision the Committee of Privileges of Parliament may make.

On Monday, Ms Raeesah had admitted that she did not accompany the rape victim to a police station, as she had recounted in her Aug 3 speech in Parliament.

She apologised in Parliament to the Singapore Police Force and retracted an anecdote she had shared of the alleged incident.

In explaining why she had made up details of that case, Ms Raeesah, 27, said she lacked the courage to admit that she was part of a support group for women, where the story was shared, as she herself had been a victim of sexual assault at the age of 18.

Leader of the House Indranee Rajah said Ms Raeesah (Sengkang GRC) had lied to Parliament on three occasions, after clarifying details of the matter with the WP MP when she finished her statement.

She raised an official complaint against Ms Raeesah for breaching her parliamentary privilege, and asked for the matter to be referred to the Committee of Privileges, which looks into any complaint alleging breaches of parliamentary privilege.

Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin has agreed to do so.

Following this, Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh said in a statement on Monday that Ms Raeesah should not have shared an account that contained untruths.

He noted that the Parliament (Privileges, Immunities and Powers) Act gives an MP significant freedom of speech, to the extent that what is said in Parliament cannot be impeached or questioned outside Parliament.

"However, this freedom of speech does not extend to communicating untruthful accounts, even if an MP's motives are not malicious," Mr Singh said.

"Ms Raeesah shared with me that she wanted to set the record straight in Parliament. This was the correct thing to do."