Politics

Raeesah Khan Hearing Report May Be Made At Any Appropriate Time: Parliament Standing Orders

Report May Be On Any Matter Fit To Bring To Parliament’s Notice: Clerk Of Parliament’s Office

Late on Friday night, a special report was released by the Parliamentary Committee of Privileges (COP), largely based on the evidence given by former MP Raeesah Khan.

While she made a number of serious allegations against the Workers’ Party (WP), the party noted that WP leaders hadn’t given evidence yet.

The Office of the Clerk of Parliament has since explained that the COP may release a report at any appropriate time.

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This is to keep Parliament informed of its progress.

Refer to Standing Orders of Parliament

The Clerk’s Office was responding to queries from the media on why the special report was released before WP leaders had been asked to testify.

According to The Straits Times, they pointed to the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Singapore, specifically Standing Order 105 (2).

An extract from the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Singapore (emphasis ours)
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It says that the committee may make special report at any time during its proceedings.

This report may be on any matter it may think fit for Parliament to be notified on.

The Clerk’s Office also noted that special reports had been issued in the past.

Parliament to be kept informed

Thus, the COP will keep Parliament informed of how the investigations are progressing “in a timely manner when appropriate”.

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Its purpose is to look through the complaint thoroughly, and review evidence and submissions continuously.

Therefore, details of meetings, hearings or even potential witnesses will still be “fluid”.

Final report to be presented

In case Singaporeans may be wondering if there’ll be further revelations down the road, the Clerk’s Office confirmed that there will.

The COP’s final report will be presented in due course, they said, not elaborating further.

This will ostensibly be after the committee decides whether to hear further evidence if it deems fit, the Clerk’s Office added.

The COP may also summon any person to appear before them to give evidence at any time before the final report is made.

In a statement on Sunday (5 Dec), the WP noted that its chief Pritam Singh is prepared to go before the COP to give the party’s side of the story.

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However, as the COP’s work “remains in progress”, it’s “prudent” for their reponse to be given only at an “appropriate forum and juncture”.

Hope to hear from WP leaders soon

There’s no indication yet whether any WP leaders will be asked to give evidence, or when that will happen.

However, for the purposes of balance, Parliament and the public should indeed hear from them as soon as possible, as Ms Khan’s allegations are serious.

Let’s hope we’ll get to peruse their response shortly.

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Featured image adapted from gov.sg on YouTube.

Jeremy Lee

Analog person making do with a digital world.