WP volunteer & sexual assault survivor ‘hurt beyond anything’

Singapore — In the wake of the Raeesah Khan scandal, a self-described sexual assault survivor and Workers’ Party volunteer expressed hurt and disappointment in a Facebook post on the NUSWhispers page on Tuesday (Dec 7).

“I defended RK as a hero that was protecting the identity of other SA survivors. I defended the party as not knowing RK lied and thus had integrity.

Now I’m just hurt beyond anything.”

Part of those feelings stems from “actively defending RK and the party” for the past three months, the volunteer said, of the drawn-out drama sparked by Ms Khan’s lies, confession and subsequent ouster from the Worker’s Party and Parliament.

The person added that the testimony to the Committee of Privileges testimonies by Ms Khan’s assistant, Ms Loh Pei Ying; and Mr Yudhishthra Nathan, a WP member, “absolutely destroyed me”.

“They both are respected volunteers in the WP with long histories. Hearing them use the words ‘betrayal’ and ‘self-serving’ to describe the current WP leadership and their ethos is earth-shattering and makes an absolute foolery of all the volunteers.”

The volunteer seemed to regret investing “character, time, and energy” to defending the WP, and added that “now I realize how much of a social media bubble I’ve been in, listening to a barrage of pro-opp commentators and ‘independent’ media sites. Now I just feel listless and want answers.”

Ever since former WP MP Raeesah Khan’s admission that she lied in Parliament on Aug 3 that she had accompanied a rape victim to make a police report, the backlash against her and the WP has been swift and severe.

In addition to pretending that she had herself gone with the victim to the police station, she also accused the police of inappropriate remarks.

Ms Khan apologised in Parliament on Nov 1 to the Police, the rape survivor, Members of Parliament, the Workers’ Party, her constituents, and her family.

As part of her apology, she said that she herself had been a victim of sexual abuse at 18 while studying overseas and that she had heard the victim’s story in a support group for sexual abuse survivors.

The Leader of the House, Ms Indranee Rajah, said she had sympathy for Ms Khan, but also pointed out that the lies she had told did “a great disservice to the survivors of sexual assault and rape victims… because it’s hard enough for such women who are victims to tell their stories, and they have great difficulty in getting people to believe them sometimes”.

Parliament’s Committee of Privileges met on the issue for the first time on Nov 29, issued an interim report last Friday and its discussions are still in progress. It has yet to call the Workers’ Party leadership to testify.

In the meantime, the WP is conducting its own investigations, headed by a panel comprising party chief Pritam Singh, chairperson Sylvia Lim and vice-chair Faisal Manap, which was to report its findings to the WP’s Central Executive Committee.

On Nov 30, WP issued a statement announcing Ms Khan’s resignation, and on Dec 2, it held a press conference at which Mr Singh said that when Ms Khan was asked to clarify the details of the reporting of the sexual assault incident a week after her Aug 3 speech, she admitted that she lied.

She was reportedly told to come clean at the Parliament sitting in October, but she did not.  Immediately after this, Mr Singh said he told her to set the record straight.

On the evening of Dec 3, the Committee of Privileges’ interim report was released and widely covered by the media.

In her testimony, Ms Khan said that on Aug 7 she called Mr Singh and admitted she had lied after he pushed her to substantiate the anecdote she recounted in Parliament.

She said she met Mr Singh, Ms Lim and Mr Manap the next day to discuss the matter.  She claims she was told to stick to her story. But the Workers’ Party leadership denies that and insists that she was told to admit that she had lied.

And so the she-said-he-said-they-said saga continues, in the full glare of TV livestream, and blanket media coverage. /TISG

Read also: Workers’ Party statement: Pritam Singh is prepared to give evidence before the Committee of Privileges

Workers’ Party statement: Pritam Singh is prepared to give evidence before the Committee of Privileges


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