Parliament Agrees With COP’s Recommendations, Pritam Singh & Faisal Manap Will Face Further Investigations

Parliament Votes On COP’s Recommendations On 15 Feb

After a 4-hour debate, the Parliament will be moving forward with the recommendations put forth by the Committee of Privileges (COP).

Most MPs voted that Ms Raeesah Khan be fined $35,000 as recommended, while Mr Pritam Singh and Mr Faisal Manap will be referred to prosecutors.

Here’s a recap of what went down in the House yesterday (15 Feb).

Parliament holds debate over 2 motions on COP’s recommendations

The debate started after Ms Indranee Rajah, Leader of the House, filed 2 motions regarding the COP report on Ms Khan’s untruth in Parliament.


The 1st motion: calls on the House to agree with the COP’s findings that the former Workers’ Party MP was guilty of abusing Parliamentary privilege, and she is fined $35,000.

The 2nd motion: calls on the House to agree with referring WP leaders Mr Singh and Mr Faisal to prosecutors.

The 2nd motion also involved holding off any sanctions on Mr Singh, Mr Faisal, and WP chairman Sylvia Lim for their roles in Ms Khan’s untruth until investigations and criminal proceedings have ended.

MPs from both sides, including Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong, shared their thoughts on the report before the vote.

1st motion split into 2 parts; WP disagrees with 2nd part

Ms Indranee separated the 1st motion into 2 parts:

  1. $25,000 fine for lying in Parliament on 3 Aug last year
  2. $10,000 fine for lying again in Parliament, this time under WP’s guidance

There was a unanimous vote in agreement for the 1st part.

But for the 2nd part, WP MPs and Progress Singapore Party’s Non-Constituency MPs got up to state their dissent on record.

2nd motion voted in 2 parts; WP registers dissent

Similarly, the 2nd motion was also voted in 2 parts:

  1. Mr Singh and Mr Faisal may have committed offences that could amount to perjury and contempt of Parliament, respectively.
  2. Holding off any sanctions on WP leaders Mr Singh, Mr Faisal and Ms Lim pertaining to Ms Khan’s untruth until investigations and criminal proceedings have ended.

WP MPs registered their dissent, while the rest of the House agreed. Mr Singh said,

We don’t agree . . . because the basis of the referral to the Public Prosecutor is from the findings of the COP and we reject the allegations that we told untruths.

PM Lee says COP’s recommendation is the best way forward

Earlier, during the debate, PM Lee stressed that the COP’s recommendation is the best way forward given the severity of the matter.

He said it would be best for the Public Prosecutor to consider the evidence afresh. And if charges are filed, Mr Singh and Mr Faisal can defend themselves in court.

Commending the committee’s course of action, PM Lee said,

If I were Mr Singh, I would vote in favour of both motions.

“Fine Ms Khan, because she is guilty beyond doubt. In fact, Mr Singh’s own party member Mr Dennis Tan thinks she should be fined more heavily for the 2nd offence,” he said.

If Mr Singh maintained that he and his colleagues had done nothing wrong, PM Lee noted that he should also vote in favour of referring his and Mr Faisal’s case to the prosecutors.

Indeed, he should demand a court trial to have the full opportunity to defend himself, vindicate his reputation and clear his name. That is what I would do if I were Mr Singh.

PM Lee also addressed public sentiment on the saga, how some may have taken in and sympathised with WP and wondered “why not just let the matter rest” or “find a compromised solution”.

To this, he said as long as PAP is the Government, they would not shy away from doing the necessary to uphold the correct norms in Parliament and sustain trust in the system, and these were critical to the nation’s success.

Investigations into Pritam & Faisal will soon commence

Now that the motions have been passed, we would soon see investigations against Mr Singh and Mr Faisal commence to determine whether the two have committed a crime.

The saga has not ended, but we hope that they can defend themselves and clear their names eventually — if both are indeed innocent as they maintained.

What do you think of Parliament’s verdict? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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Featured image adapted from MCI Singapore on YouTube.

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