WP leadership likely pulled off a coordinated strategy to stonewall the COP

Dec 15, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership
Both the Workers' Party (WP) vice-chairman Faisal Manap and chair Sylvia Lim did not actively seek out a resolution to the Raeesah Khan issue between the day they found out Raeesah lied (Aug 8) up till the parliamentary sitting on 4 oct.

According to the special report from the Committee of Privileges, both Faisal and Sylvia affirmed that there were no "concrete steps" taken towards having Raeesah come to Parliament to clarify the lie.

Between August and October, none of them consulted with party chief Pritam Singh on the next course of action.

Faisal went a step further by refusing to answer questions by the committee when he was asked about the notes he had brought with him, including a note he had prepared on the sequence of events pertaining to Raeesah's telling of falsehoods in Parliament.

Faisal had met with Pritam and Sylvia in the two days before the hearing, on Tuesday and Wednesday, for two to three hours each time. He said that during these meetings, he had checked with them whether the dates in the note were correct.

In refusing to answer the committee's questions, Faisal said he was concerned that he may inadvertently mislead the committee by answering the question, as he was "not privy" to what documents Mr Singh and Ms Lim had brought.

Committee member Edwin Tong said of Faisal's lack of cooperation:

"I am trying to understand why. It strikes me that, as a senior member of the Workers' Party... someone in your position would have wanted to be interested in knowing what's going on with your party," said Mr Tong.

"What piqued my interest about your note and your construction of a sequence of events is, how is it that you don't really have much involvement in this, but could spend some time preparing a sequence of events?"

In Pritam, we trust

Sylvia said she did not know what Pritam had discussed or agreed with Raeesah on what she was to do if the issue was raised in Parliament, but she believed that Pritam would not have given Raeesah the option to continue lying.

Sylvia testified that while she had known from Aug 8 that Raeesah had lied in Parliament, she was initially not involved in handling the matter.

Sylvia explained to the COP that because Pritam knew Raeesah best, and was guiding her, she left it to Pritam to handle the issue.

As for Faisal, although he was aware that allowing lies by Raeesah to go unaddressed in Parliament was a potential offence, he did not take action as he felt it was a matter best left to party chief Pritam Singh.

Private meetings between WP leadership before the COP hearing date may have been to discuss a collective narrative?

Despite being senior members of WP, both Faisal and Sylvia had in the course of their proceedings, painted themselves as having little to no involvement with the Raeesah saga. More tellingly is when they deferred their judgement to Pritam.

The stonewalling by the leadership suggests that a collective narrative was planned by Faisal, Sylvia and Pritam to ensure that any 'difficult' questions as well as any gaps in the narrative to be filled by only Pritam so as to possibly maintain a level of consistency and reduce the risk of contradictions.

Whether the stonewall will crumble is an episode for another day.

Leong Mun Wai pulled a 'Raeesah Khan' in Parliament on Telegram hearsay

Jan 13, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership
On Tuesday (Jan 11), Progress Singapore Party (PSP) member Leong Mun Wai claimed that he received feedback from residents, "that some teachers have already practised vaccination diferentiated safe management measures in schools".

When asked by Education Minister Chan Chun Sing to name the schools and teachers involved, Leong backpedalled and said that the feedback was through Whatsapp and that he would need to ask 'his' residents before making a clarification. He later disclosed that the feedback originated from a Telegram group called SG Concerned Parents.

After a terse exchange between Chan and Speaker of the House Tan Chuan Jin, Leong admitted that the chat group messages did not name any particular schools.

Indranee: When you make allegations against teachers and just cast it out there, you must be able to substantiate it

Leong's response drew a rebuke from Leader of the House Indranee Rajah who admonished Leong for making unsubstantiated claims.

Indranee rose and said: "When you make allegations against teachers and just cast it out there, you must be able to substantiate it. And that is why Minister Chan (had) asked, ‘Please provide me with the details of which school and which teacher so that the Ministry of Education can follow up'.”

She described Leong’s explanation on Tuesday as an attempt to “grandstand” or make broad speeches that have no bearing on the details requested by the Education Minister.

Leong Mun Wai another Raeesah Khan?

In August last year, Raeesah shared an anecdote in Parliament about details of a rape case she alleged was mishandled by the police. She later admitted to lying about the anecdote.

In 2014, Workers' Party MP Faisal Manap also made an unsubstantiated claim alleging that when he was a counsellor, he came across a couple who were having housing issues and advised to file for a divorce by the Housing and Development Board — so that the wife would be eligible to buy a house under the Singles Scheme and she could subsequently remarry her husband.

He later apologised for not verifying the authenticity of his anecdote.