Many of us have already moved on to the Tales of Wang Leehom, which first aired last week, but it seems that another episode of Tell the Truth, Khan or Khannot, has been released.
After calling back Worker’s Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh for a second hearing, the Committee of Privileges decided it was necessary to call back one of the first people who testified before them—Raeesah Khan—as well.
Ms Khan had previously lied in Parliament on several occasions, saying she had accompanied a sexual assault victim to a police station when she hadn’t. This was problematic because the anecdote contained a serious accusation—that the police officer at the station had made troubling comments about the alleged victim’s dressing and drinking during the assault.
In her first COP hearing, Ms Khan claimed that the WP leaders had instructed her to continue with her false narrative if asked about it in Parliament.
But Mr Singh, party chair Sylvia Lim, and vice-chair Faisal Manap, have since denied doing this.
You can watch the summaries of their COP hearings here:
So, what is Ms Khan’s response?
Here are 10 key takeaways from the former WP MP’s latest hearing:
She Told WP Leaders She May Have PTSD Symptoms, But Never Said She Was Suffering From Disassociation
In his first testimony before the COP, Mr Singh said he was told by Ms Khan that she suffers from disassociation, a mental health condition where a person disconnects from one’s thoughts and feelings.
He surmised that this was the reason that Ms Khan, to his mind, lied to the COP when she said she was told to take her lie “to the grave.”
In yesterday’s (22 Dec) testimony, Ms Khan said that she had indeed told WP’s disciplinary panel (DP) that she may have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and when asked what sort of symptoms, she mentioned disassociation.
But she said that she never told them that she was suffering from disassociation.
This is why…
She Said it Was Out of Line to Bring Up Mental Condition
Both Mr Singh and Ms Lim has said in their COP hearings that disassociation could have affected Ms Khan’s ability to tell the truth in her hearings.
But Ms Khan said it was extremely out of line for them to have “used mental
illness as a means to discredit someone,” the COP report said.
“Mr Singh had tried to paint a picture of her as someone who was mentally unstable, when she was of sound mind.”
A psychiatrist from the Institute of Mental Health who had assessed Ms Khan had testified before the COP that she did not have any psychiatric disorder that would impair her ability to tell the truth.
She Maintained that She Was Instructed By WP Leaders to Stick to her Lie
Despite the WP’s leader’s claims, Ms Khan maintained that Mr Singh, Ms Lim, and Mr Manap had instructed her during an 8 Aug meeting to continue with her false narrative, and that there was no need to make a clarification if it came up in Parliament.
She Maintained that Her WhatsApp Message to Her Aides Was Truthful
In her first testimony, Ms Khan provided a transcript of a WhatsApp message she had sent Ms Loh Pei Ying, a former secretarial assistant, and Mr Yudhishthra Nathan, a volunteer.
The message said: “Hey guys, I just met pritam, Sylvia and Faisal. And we spoke about the Muslim issue and the police accusation. 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. They also suggested that I write a statement to send out this evening.”
Mr Singh said that Ms Khan was lying in this message, as he had never told her to “take the information to the grave”.
But Ms Khan maintained that she was being truthful in the message; according to her, Mr Singh had used that exact phrase—a phrase she said she wouldn’t ordinarily use—during a meeting with Mr Singh, Ms Lim, and Mr Manap, where she had recounted her experience as a sexual assault survivor.
She Said WP Leaders Didn’t Talk About Whether to Talk to Her Parents About the Sexual Assault
According to Mr Singh, one of the reasons he had not been more forceful in his encouragements for Ms Khan to come clean about her lie in Parliament was that she had not spoken to her parents about her assault yet.
He didn’t want them to hear about it for the first time from a Parliamentary sitting.
But Ms Khan said yesterday that there was never any discussion during the meeting with WP leaders on whether she should disclose the sexual assault to her father and family.
She Disputed WP Chief’s Evidence That he Told Her to “Take Ownership & Responsibility”
The phrase “take ownership and responsibility” was uttered many times by Mr Singh in both his testimonies before the COP. It was the phrase he said he used when talking to Ms Khan during a meeting at her house on 3 Oct, one day before a Parliamentary sitting.
Ms Khan disagreed with Mr Singh’s version of accounts, saying he “never said those words”.
Instead, she stood by what she had said in her first COP hearing—that Mr Singh had told her if the matter was brought up again in Parliament, there would be no judgement from him if she kept to her existing narrative.
She Clarified That Other People Were at Her Home When WP Chief Visited
In her first testimony, Ms Khan said that only Mr Singh and she were present at her home during the 3 Oct meeting.
But Mr Singh refuted this statement and said Ms Khan had lied to the COP, as other family members were at home as well.
When asked about this yesterday, Ms Khan said what she meant was only Mr Singh and her were present during the discussion.
She Said She Was Waiting For WP Chief’s Text Message In Parliament On How to Respond to Law Minister
As revealed in an earlier hearing, Ms Khan had sent a text message to Mr Singh during the 4 Oct session in Parliament after she was asked by Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam about the false anecdote.
The message read: “What should I do, Pritam?”. A video clip of the session which played in yesterday’s COP hearing showed Ms Khan looking at her phone at various points throughout the exchange.
Since Mr Singh didn’t respond, she replied in accordance with what she believed Mr Singh had advised her to do—stick with the lie.
She Said She Was Shocked By Chief’s Response During a 4 Oct Meeting After the Parliamentary Sitting
After repeating the lie in Parliament on 4 Oct, Ms Khan said that she had met Mr Singh and Ms Lim in the LO office late at night and agreed with Mr Singh’s evidence that she had said, ” “Perhaps there is another way. That is, to tell the truth.”
“She said that she felt quite stressed but had not been in a daze when she said those words. Ms Khan said that she had meant to suggest that perhaps she should clarify and tell the truth, rather than continue the narrative of 3 Aug (as Mr Singh had asked her to do),” the report said.
Mr Singh responded to this by asking her if she hadn’t already chosen a path.
In yesterday’s hearing, Ms Khan said she was shocked by the WP chief’s response as she had spoken to Mr Singh the day before, and believed that there was no intention or directive from him to tell the truth at that time.
She Agreed With WP Chair’s Notes During DP Meeting, But Said Party Chief Had Given Her a Choice to Lie
During yesterday’s hearing, Ms Khan was also shown some notes taken by Ms Lim during her interview with the DP on 29 Nov.
It detailed an exchange between Mr Singh and Ms Khan:
PS: Before Oct session, I met you + I told you it was your call. Did need to tell the truth in Parl occur to you?
RK: Yes but consumed with guilt + own experience. Thought it wouldn’t come up.
PS: Can’t lie right?
Ms Khan confirmed that Ms Lim’s notes accurately reflected what Mr Singh had said at the interview, but added that his choice of words – “your call” – suggested that it was her choice to make.
So, essentially, absolutely nothing has been resolved. Both parties are sticking to their testimonies which contradict each other, meaning one of them has to be bending the truth.
And until the COP concludes their investigations, there’s no way of knowing who this is.
You can watch Ms Khan’s second COP hearing below:
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