Raeesah Khan, darling of Singapore millennials, resigns as opposition MP after lying in parliament

  • Khan had earlier admitted to lying in parliament when she took the police to task over a rape investigation
  • The 28-year-old lawmaker’s resignation is a setback for the main opposition Workers’ Party after its breakthrough result in last year’s general election

A debutant Singaporean opposition MP hailed during last year’s election as one of the faces of the country’s politically awakened millennial generation has resigned, weeks after she admitted to lying to parliament when she admonished the police force for being insensitive towards a rape survivor.

Observers had earlier said Raeesah Khan’s resignation would prove to be a major test for the Workers’ Party, to which she belonged. The party said in a statement that she had resigned from the party, which under the law meant she automatically vacated her seat as an MP in the 104-seat legislature.

The 28-year-old was one of 10 Workers’ Party members who were elected to office in last year’s general election in a breakthrough for the country’s long beleaguered opposition.

Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.

Khan stunned citizens – used to a more staid politics – when on November 1 she admitted to misleading the legislature. Subsequently, she was referred to the parliamentary committee for breach of parliamentary privilege.

Related Facebook post

Shared from Facebook

“With a heavy heart, I write to resign as Member of Parliament for Sengkang GRC,” Khan, who was the youngest MP in the 104-seat legislature, said in a letter to the Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin that she posted on Facebook on Tuesday evening. “I wish to reiterate my apology to the house, to the people of Sengkang and my volunteers,” she said in the letter.

The saga centres around comments Khan made in an August debate on empowering women.

She said she had accompanied a 25-year-old rape survivor to a police station three years ago, and the woman “came out crying” after the police officer handling her complaint allegedly commented on her attire and alcohol consumption.

On November 1, however, in a stunning turn of events, Khan admitted she had lied, saying she had not accompanied the victim to the police station.

Instead, she had taken the anecdote from a women’s support group she attended, and did not have the victim’s consent to share this account publicly.

Beheaded, groped, beaten: violence against Asian women at alarming levels

Khan said she herself had been sexually assaulted at the age of 18 while studying overseas, which is why she had attended the group session.

She suggested that this experience influenced the way she narrated the anecdote, saying in a tearful speech that she did not have the courage to report her own assault.

Her admission followed calls in October by the law and home affairs minister K. Shanmugam for more details on the episode so that authorities could investigate the matter.

Then, Khan repeated that the incident happened but refused to divulge further information, saying she did not want to further traumatise the victim.

Related Facebook post

Shared from Facebook

The Workers’ Party in a separate statement issued late on Tuesday said Khan had told party chief Pritam Singh of her intention to resign ahead of a disciplinary committee meeting in the evening on the matter.

The party said it would hold a press conference on Thursday to discuss its plans for the Sengkang group representation constituency (GRC), the four-seat ward that Khan belonged to.

In the general election last year, the Workers’ Party wrested Sengkang GRC from the long-ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) and retained the five-seat ward of Aljunied GRC and the single seat ward of Hougang where it was incumbent.

That showing was the best performance by the opposition since the 1960s.

Singapore’s Lee says party needs ‘a little longer’ to pick his successor

The PAP, led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has governed the country without interruption since 1959, and has had a legislative supermajority since 1968.

Before the recent turn of events, Khan enjoyed sizeable support among the country’s younger generation for championing minority, LGBT and women’s rights – with some comparing her to the US progressive darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

She courted controversy during last year’s elections campaign when she was forced to apologise for old social media posts alleging that people from minority groups faced mistreatment.

Police opened investigations into the matter and Khan was later issued a stern warning over the posts. Unperturbed, supporters used the hashtag #westandwithraeesah to indicate their backing for her.

Raeesah Khan, darling of Singapore millennials, resigns as opposition MP after lying in parliament
© Provided by South China Morning Post Raeesah Khan had told Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh of her intention to resign ahead of a disciplinary committee meeting in the evening on the matter. Photo: Facebook

Despite Khan’s resignation, it is not a certainty that a by-election will be held in Sengkang.

Under the country’s unique GRC system – meant to ensure proportional parliamentary representation of minorities – voters in group wards select a slate of candidates from a political party rather than any single candidate.

The country’s highest court, the Court of Appeal, in 2019 ruled that there was “no duty to call a by-election when a single vacancy arises in a GRC”.

That verdict followed a legal challenge that was filed after the country’s current president Halimah Yacob vacated her position as a PAP MP in a GRC to run for the presidency.

More Articles from SCMP

China’s BeiDou in race with Nasa over laser communications in space

Keeping big brothers at bay: why Lithuania is taking on China

Company shares insight into setting up compliance programme to enhance conformity with Competition Ordinance

US pressure is pushing Russia-China cooperation to new levels, beyond defence

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

Copyright (c) 2021. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden and Limited Card list (February 2021)

© Provided by Dot Esports Just like with every competitive game, Konami has to put in additional work to make sure Yu-Gi-Oh! maintains a balanced competitive meta with the release ... Read more »

Killer who stabbed her partner during violent row is jailed for eight years

A woman convicted of killing her partner with a knife during a violent row at their home has been jailed for eight years. Kayley Mahood was cleared of murder, but ... Read more »

Covid live: boosters increase protection against death from Omicron in over-50s to 95% – UKHSA; UK records 338 deaths

LIVE – Updated at 17:46 Protection against death increases to around 95% two weeks after receiving a booster dose, UK health agency says; UK reports another 96,871 Covid cases. Boosters ... Read more »

Key points from Prince Andrew's response to Virginia Giuffre's lawsuit

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Steve Parsons/AP Prince Andrew has filed his answer and defences to Virginia Giuffre’s sexual abuse lawsuit against him, brought in the New York district ... Read more »

Covid boosters raise protection against death from Omicron to 95% among 50-plus, UKHSA says

© PA Archive Stock image: Nurse prepares vaccines – PA Archive Covid boosters increase protection against death from the Omicron variant to 95% in people aged 50 and over, the ... Read more »

Oklahoma executes man for 2001 slayings of 2 hotel workers

© Provided by The Canadian Press McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma executed a man Thursday for the brutal slayings of two hotel workers during a robbery in 2001. Donald Grant, ... Read more »

Discover the Beauty Looks From Dior's Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2022 Fashion Show

Live from Paris, Dior unveiled its Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2022 collection on January 25. We had the chance to speak with Peter Philips, Creative and Image Director of Makeup at ... Read more »

Florida man mistaken for fugitive with his name, age spends 5 days in jail

A South Florida man had to spend nearly a week in jail this month when he was mistaken for a fugitive. Leonardo Silva Oliveira, 26, a cook at a Deerfield ... Read more »

Use these ways to get curly hair at home

© Provided by The Statesman Use these ways to get curly hair at home Getting natural-looking curls can be a challenge if your hair is normally straight. However, there are ... Read more »

Denmark to withdraw troops from Mali's Sahel region, says foreign minister

Denmark says it will withdraw a small military force from Mali despite concerns from European neighbours. The Mali military junta had stated that Denmark did not have permission to deploy ... Read more »

Cocaine was the secret ingredient in pig-to-human heart transplant

Doctors hope to see more of the party drug in transplant hospitals: “It will be a great advance if this process is approved by the regulatory agencies.” University of Maryland ... Read more »

Not just 1st R-Day, 26 Jan 1950 also significant as Indian Army, Navy shed ‘Royal' prefix

© Provided by The Print New Delhi: Besides being the day the Indian Constitution came into being, Republic Day is particularly significant for the country’s armed forces because 26 January ... Read more »

Olympic Marathoner Ryan Hall Shares His Best Advice for Winter Running

Ryan Hall has packed on muscle and built considerable strength since retiring from distance running in 2016, although he still holds a couple of records in the United States for ... Read more »

At 48, Kate Beckinsale's Abs And Legs Are Pure Muscle In A New IG Photo Dump

Kate Beckinsale is back on social media after a three-week-long Instagram hiatus. The 48-year-old actress casually posted a brand new photo dump, wearing a yellow Moschino skirt suit that she ... Read more »

Omicron: UKHSA finds boosters provide 95% protection against death

© (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) A health worker is seen preparing to administer the a third COVID-19 booster shot (illustrative). COVID-19 boosters increase protection against death from ... Read more »

Love Island's Mary Bedford looks completely different as she shows off ‘new teeth' after makeover

LOVE Island star Mary Bedford has been spotted looking totally different as she showed off her “new teeth” after a makeover. The reality TV star – who rose to fame ... Read more »

MTA worker struck by train seeks video footage in preparation for suit

Andre Downes — a MTA employee who was struck by a train on January 9, 2022 — is seeking the surveillance footage of the accident for a lawsuit against the ... Read more »

Tom Holland says he doesn't know if he'll play Spider-Man again but admits 'there definitely was a sense' that he's worn the suit for 'the last time'

© Columbia Pictures Tom Holland in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” Columbia Pictures Holland told Deadline he doesn’t know yet if he will play Spider-Man again. “If it’s time for me ... Read more »

Rochester man convicted of murder for fatally shooting man in back of head

A Rochester man who fatally shot another city man in the back of the head was convicted of murder Wednesday. A jury convicted Luis Rios Morales of second-degree murder, along ... Read more »

Biden announces retirement of Supreme Court Justice Breyer, promises Black woman nominee: live updates

<img alt="Biden announces retirement of Supreme Court Justice Breyer, promises Black woman nominee: live updates" src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/RUHzPQF_GVo/maxresdefault.jpg" onload="if(this.naturalWidth Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer officially announces retirement to President Joe Biden. Breyer ... Read more »

Guards trade fire along Tajik-Kyrgyz border

© Provided by dw.com A conflict on the border last year left dozens dead Kyrgyzstan accused Central Asian neighbor Tajikistan of firing towards its troops on Thursday, in an outbreak ... Read more »

Zambia's leader says turning around economy, despite empty coffers

© RODGER BOSCH All change: Hakainde Hichilema last year clinched the Zambian presidency on his sixth attempt President Hakainde Hichilema on Thursday said his new government was on the fast ... Read more »

The release of 'Vikrant Rona' by Jacqueline Fernandez and Kichcha Sudeepa has been delayed

© Provided by The Statesman The release of ‘Vikrant Rona’ by Jacqueline Fernandez and Kichcha Sudeepa has been delayed ‘Vikrant Rona’ with Kichcha Sudeepa has been delayed from February 24. ... Read more »

Vintage bombs dug up in hospital

© Edd Gumban Vintage bombs dug up in hospital MANILA, Philippines — Two vintage bombs have been excavated during the construction of the new Ospital ng Maynila in Malate. The ... Read more »

A new film starring Suniel Shetty and Sanjay Dutt is in the works

© Provided by The Statesman A new film starring Suniel Shetty and Sanjay Dutt is in the works Both actors have worked in films such as ‘Kaante’ (2002) and ‘Shootout ... Read more »

Rashmika Mandanna in stunning blue lehenga looks every inch beautiful; See PICS

© Provided by Pinkvilla Rashmika Mandanna has become a household name as her cute antics gave her the title of ‘National Crush’. The 25-year-old actress has a massive fan following ... Read more »

As time went by, I realized how privileged I am to be a part of my film family: Abhay Deol

© Provided by The Statesman As time went by, I realized how privileged I am to be a part of my film family: Abhay Deol With the release of ‘Socha ... Read more »

Lyrical video of 'Thozhi' from Dulquer-starrer 'Hey Sinamika' released

© IANS Thozhi from Hey Sinamika released. Chennai, Jan 27 (IANS) A number of celebrities from the Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam film industries on Thursday released the much-awaited lyrical video ... Read more »

EXCLUSIVE: ‘I think Kareena Kapoor Khan is a tremendously beautiful woman', quips Ameesha Patel

© Provided by Pinkvilla Ameesha Patel is grabbing all the limelight ever since the news of Gadar’s sequel in the pipelines came out. All the fans are jumping with joy ... Read more »

95% of India's adult population given first dose of Covid vaccine, 74% fully inoculated: Health ministry

Ninety five per cent of India’s eligible adult population has been administered the first dose of Covid vaccine while 74 per cent are fully inoculated, the Union health ministry said ... Read more »

World changed for better as India became inclusive, secular, pluralistic Republic on Jan 26, 1950: NY Gov

The world changed for the better on January 26, 1950, when India became an inclusive, secular and pluralistic Republic and New York is proud to be home to nearly 400,000 ... Read more »

India's strategic partnership with France is a visible partnership: Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday noted that the strategic partnership with France is one such partnership that is visible and has steadily matured and it is now an ... Read more »

Veteran Bengali singer Sandhya Mukherjee admitted to SSKM hospital

Veteran Bengali singer Sandhya Mukherjee got admitted in the state-run SSKM hospital on Thursday morning with complaints of breathlessness and lung infection. Mukherjee tested Covid positive and she was transferred ... Read more »

Russia sees 'little ground for optimism' in US response on Ukraine crisis

The US rejection of Russia’s main demands to resolve the crisis over Ukraine left “little ground for optimism,” the Kremlin said on Thursday, but added that dialogue was still possible. ... Read more »

Guterres warnt vor Wiederaufleben der Holocaustleugnung

© Keystone/UN/Mark Garten Anlässlich des Holocaust-Gedenktages hat UN-Generalsekretär António Guterres vor einer Zunahme der Leugnung des Menschheitsverbrechens gewarnt. Es gebe Versuche, die Geschichte umzuschreiben und Verbrecher zu rehabilitieren, sagte Guterres ... Read more »

Fearing tips could get lost, sheriff halts Facebook comments

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (AP) — A Florida sheriff's office has turned off public comments on its social media posts because authorities said too many people are reporting crimes there ... Read more »

Inspection report: 50 out of 55 Norwegian municipalities have poor control of their sewer systems

An inspection last year revealed that 50 of 55 inspected Norwegian municipalities in nine counties violated environmental regulations. In 17 of the cases, serious violations were discovered. In 2021, the ... Read more »

Ron Perlman Hasn't Given Up On The Possibility Of Hellboy 3

Albert L. Ortega/Getty Ron Perlman has portrayed many iconic characters, but if you had to name the one that stands — both literally and metaphorically — head and shoulders above ... Read more »

Covid infection among those above 71 years and above highest in Maharashtra

© Provided by Hindustan Times Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, assistant director, health services, Pune region, said that the response from senior citizens to the precaution dose is not as expected. (HT PHOTO) ... Read more »

US-Wirtschaft 2021 um starke 5,7 Prozent gewachsen

© KEYSTONE/AP/Mary Altaffer Die US-Wirtschaft ist im vergangenen Jahr um starke 5,7 Prozent gewachsen. Das teilte das Handelsministerium am Donnerstag in Washington auf Basis einer ersten Schätzung mit. Das Wachstum ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic