Raeesah Khan resigns from Parliament, Workers’ Party following false statement

Her statement had been a recount of a rape case and police insensitivity by a sexual assault survivor.

Alicia Ang

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Published: 1 December 2021, 12:34 PM

Ms Raeesah Khan has resigned as a Member of Parliament and from The Workers’ Party (WP).

WP said in a statement on Tuesday (Nov 30) that Ms Khan had informed Mr Pritam Singh, Singapore’s Leader of the Opposition and the General Secretary of WP, of her intention to resign from the party on Tuesday afternoon. She also conveyed in person her intention to resign in WP’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) on the same evening. 

In her resignation letter to Mr Tan Chuan Jin, Speaker of Parliament, she apologised to the House, her volunteers and the residents of Sengkang. “I will be spending more time with my family, and on causes that I am most passionate about,” she stated.

“I will always be indebted to the residents of Sengkang for giving me the honour of serving as their MP in the 14th Parliament. In spite of my shortcomings, I hope that we continue to work together to make Singapore a place we are proud to call home.”

She stated that she would assist the Committee of Privileges, who were assigned the task of looking into her breach of Parliamentary privileges. The letter was also shared on her Instagram account

What she said

This comes after she made a statement – which she admitted was false later on – in Parliament on Aug 3. She claimed that police officers had made insensitive remarks when she accompanied a sexual assault survivor to a police station.

The statement was made during a motion about empowering women.

During subsequent parliamentary sessions, Minister of Home Affairs K Shanmugam and other MPs asked for more detail on the case, but Ms Khan stated that she wanted to keep it confidential to protect the survivor. 

Mr Shanmugam then stated the police would interview her, but she never showed up for the interview.

On Nov 1, Ms Khan revealed that she had not been there when the report was made, but had heard about it in a women’s support group.  

“I did not share that I was a part of the group as I did not have the courage to publicly admit that I was a part of it,” she said in her statement. 

She admitted that she herself was a survivor of sexual assault, which happened at the age of 18 when she was studying overseas. At the time of her original statement, she had not yet told the public or members of her family due to fear, shame and trauma from her assault. 

“Yet as a survivor, I wanted so deeply to speak up and also share their account I had heard when speaking on the motion, without revealing my own private experience. I should not have shared the survivor’s anecdote without her consent. As a survivor myself, I feel this failure deeply.”

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