Pritam Singh Charged for Lying under Oath: Here’s What Happened

Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh was charged on Tuesday (Mar 19) with two offences under the Parliament (Privileges, Immunities and Powers) Act.

The Workers’ Party chief is accused of falsely testifying at the Committee of Privileges hearings involving former Member of Parliament Raeesah Khan.

Pritam Singh has been charged for lying on oath.

What actually happened

Raeesah Khan lied in Parliament

WP MP Raeesah Khan lied in Parliament on 3 August 2021. She told a story about going to a Police station with a victim of sexual assault, where a police officer had allegedly made comments about the victim’s dressing and the fact that she was drinking. However, this was untrue.

Pritam Singh told Raeesah Khan to continue lying, until he realised that he could not suppress it

Raeesah Khan told Pritam Singh on 7 August 2021 that what she had said was untrue. On 8 August 2021, Pritam Singh – together with senior WP leaders Sylvia Lim and Faisal Manap – told Raeesah Khan to keep quiet about the lie. Pritam Singh had told Raeesah Khan to take the lie “to the grave.”

Immediately after this meeting, Raeesah Khan sent a message to two young WP activists who had been assisting her – Loh Pei Ying and Yudhishthra Nathan – saying “… I told him what I told you guys and they’ve agreed that the best thing to do is to take the information to the grave…”

Pritam Singh, Sylvia Lim and Faisal Manap did not tell anyone else, including the WP Central Executive Committee (CEC) about Raeesah Khan’s lie. They kept it quiet, hoping to supress the information.

Raeesah Khan did not own up publicly to the lie in August and September.

**On 3 October 2021, Pritam Singh went to Raeesah Khan’s house. He talked to her about what to say if the issue came up during the Parliament sitting the next day. He gave Raeesah Khan instructions on how to respond. He did not tell her to tell the truth. He also told her “I will not judge you.”

On 4 October 2021, Raeesah Khan was asked in Parliament about her earlier statements. She lied again. Raeesah Khan then met Pritam Singh and Sylvia Lim in Parliament later that day. They again did not tell her that she had to tell the truth, or clarify in Parliament the next day (i.e. 5 October 2021).

On 7 October 2021, the Police made it clear that they wanted to interview Raeesah Khan about her statements. Pritam Singh realised that they could not keep quiet about the lie. Raeesah Khan was then told on 12 October 2021 to tell the truth in Parliament.

Raeesah Khan finally told the truth in Parliament on 1 November 2021.

Yet, Pritam Singh continued to hide the truth of his involvement to protect his lie – he tried to hide the facts from his own party, and threw Raeesah Khan and other dispensable young WP cadres under the bus to save his own skin

On the same day (1 November 2021) when Raeesah Khan came clean in Parliament, Pritam Singh issued a public statement about the matter. He said that it was important for WP MPs to be honest. But the statement did not mention that Pritam Singh, Sylvia Lim and Faisal Manap knew about the lie all along.

Pritam Singh then formed an internal Disciplinary Panel (comprising of himself, Sylvia Lim and Faisal Manap) to consider what should be done to Raeesah Khan about her lying – without disclosing to anyone that they had known since 7 August 2021 that she had lied, and that he had asked her to keep quiet about her lie on 8 August 2021.

Raeesah Khan resigned

On 30 November 2021, Raeesah Khan resigned after she was told that she would be sacked from the WP if she did not do so. The WP Disciplinary Panel headed by Pritam Singh made this decision. In essence, Raeesah Khan was sacrificed by Pritam Singh to cover up his own conduct.

Pritam Singh gaslighting

In addition, during the Committee of Privileges proceedings, Pritam Singh attacked Raeesah Khan’s mental health condition, and gave details of her own past sexual assault against her wishes. Pritam Singh had suggested that Raeesah Khan could be predisposed to lying because of her mental health condition, and suggested that Raeesah Khan undergo a psychological assessment. The psychiatrists said that Raeesah Khan did not suffer from the alleged mental health issues. Pritam Singh specified in detail the type of sexual assault – “rape” – to attack Raeesah.

Pritam Singh knew about Raeesah Khan’s lie

On 2 Dec 2021, Loh Pei Ying – a young WP activist who had helped Pritam Singh and the WP for 10 years was going to give evidence – and she was going to say that Pritam Singh had knew about the lie since August 2021. The same morning, Pritam Singh hurriedly called a press conference to disclose that he, Sylvia Lim and Faisal Manap had known all along that Raeesah Khan had lied.

Pritam Singh also suggested to the Committee of Privileges that Loh Pei Ying and Yudhishthra Nathan were lying in their testimonies out of their personal loyalty to Raeesah Khan, and that they were unhappy with the WP leadership for taking action against her. Again, sacrificed and had their integrities questioned to cover up Pritam Singh’s actions.

Loh Pei Ying – the young WP activist – was tearing as she said this to the COP:

*“Just in case, I guess, anyone thinks that I’m coming in with an agenda of sorts, I just want to clarify that I’ve been a member of the Workers’ Party for 10 years, and I’ve been given the cause a reasonable amount of my personal time and my youth. And I’m very aware of the ramifications of what I’ve shared, including the WhatsApp conversations, and… it pains me greatly. But to me, beyond anything else, it’s important to be truthful to my country.”

And hence, here we are.

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