WP Leaders Didn’t Tell Raeesah To Take Lie ‘To The Grave’: Faisal
When former Sengkang MP Raeesah Khan gave evidence before the Committee Of Privileges (COP) last week, she made some shocking revelations.
The Workers’ Party (WP) could only respond by saying their leaders hadn’t told their side of the story.
At last, 1 WP leader – vice-chairman Faisal Manap – has given evidence before the COP, and disputed part of what Ms Khan claimed.
He was also alarmed when he 1st knew that she’d told untruths in Parliament, but ultimately trusted WP chief Pritam Singh to handle it.
Faisal took part in 6-hour hearing
Mr Faisal’s account of events was detailed in another special report from the COP, released on Saturday (11 Dec) night.
The Aljunied GRC MP had taken part in a 6-hour hearing on Thursday (9 Dec), after which the COP saw fit to produce a 2nd report.
Raeesah shared sexual assault with leaders
After Ms Khan gave a speech that contained untruths in Parliament on 3 Aug, Mr Faisal said he was asked to meet at Mr Singh’s house on 8 Aug.
WP chairman Sylvia Lim and Ms Khan also went for the meeting.
At the meeting, Ms Khan shared with them a shocking revelation – she’d been sexually assaulted in Australia as an 18-year-old student.
This was also the 1st time Mr Faisal had heard that the story she’d told in Parliament was untrue.
WP leaders overwhelmed by revelation
The 3 WP leaders were “overwhelmed” by Ms Khan’s revelation, Mr Faisal said.
Instead of being angry with her (for lying in Parliament), they tried to console and comfort her, he added.
In fact, Mr Faisal said the trio were so overwhelmed by Ms Khan’s tale of sexual assault that:
- They didn’t react to her confession about lying in Parliament.
- They didn’t discuss what to do about her actions.
Rather, their main concern was her well-being.
Faisal trusted Pritam to handle matter
When asked about his reaction to Ms Khan’s lie, Mr Faisal said he was “quite alarmed”.
He accepted that it was bad to lie to Parliament, and to allow a lie to carry on in Parliament.
He also agreed that it would have struck him almost immediately that the lie was a big problem, and he had to focus on that even though he was overwhelmed by her sexual assault experience.
However, he said he’d trusted Mr Singh to handle the matter and make a judgement call, and also believed Ms Khan would do the right thing.
Mr Faisal also understood that it would be “hard to understand” the 3 leaders’ failure to react to Ms Khan’s confession.
Raeesah lied in WhatsApp message: Faisal
Significantly, Ms Khan had previously told the COP that after the 8 Aug meeting, she sent a WhatsApp message to her assistant Loh Pei Ying and party cadre Yudhishthra Nathan.
She told them that she met the 3 leaders and told them about the “police accusation”, adding,
I told them what I told you guys, and they’ve agreed
that the best thing to do is to take the information to the grave.
Mr Faisal said Ms Khan had lied over the claim that they had spoken about the police accusation.
She also lied when she said the 3 leaders had told her to take her lie “to the grave”, he added.
However, he couldn’t explain why she would lie about this.
Faisal didn’t discuss lie for almost 3 months
For close to 3 months – from 8 Aug-29 Oct – Mr Faisal didn’t speak with Mr Singh, Ms Lim or Ms Khan regarding Ms Khan’s untruth in Parliament, he said.
On 4 Oct, Ms Khan again lied in Parliament in an exchange with Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam.
Mr Faisal said he was “shocked and worried” that she’d lied twice.
However, he didn’t do anything about it, as he regarded it as a matter for Mr Singh to deal with.
On 5 Oct, he sent a message to Ms Khan, but only to encourage and comfort her. He didn’t ask her about clarifying the untruth in Parliament.
When Ms Khan finally admitted the truth in Parliament on 1 Nov, he was relieved that she’d done so.
More hearings to come
According to the special report, besides Mr Faisal, the COP also heard from Mr Singh on Friday (10 Dec).
What went on during that hearing hasn’t been released yet.
The COP has also agreed to hear evidence from Ms Lim, as well as Sengkang MP Jamus Lim.
We’ll be waiting to hear what they have to say.
Gearing up for next part of saga
So far, what has been said during the COP hearings has been worrying, as there are allegations of failure to act quickly upon knowledge of a lie.
However, given that what Ms Khan had shared was of a very distressing personal matter, it does conform to what Mr Singh said in a press conference on 2 Dec – that he’d given her space to address her trauma with loved ones.
Mr Faisal was also adamant that the leaders didn’t tell her to take the lie to the grave.
Given that Mr Singh has already given evidence, we’ll have to gear up for what he has to say.
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Featured image adapted from govsg on YouTube.