Asia Singapore Possible offences by WP's Pritam Singh and Faisal Manap being probed by...

Possible offences by WP’s Pritam Singh and Faisal Manap being probed by Police

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The police have started an investigation into the actions of the Workers’ Party Secretary-General Pritam Singh and Vice-President Faisal Manap for their testimony at the “Raeesah Khan saga” by the Parliamentary Privileges Committee. As part of the investigation, the authorities will jointly contact relevant personnel.

The police force issued a statement late today (April 29). Parliament referred Pritam Singh and Faisal Manap’s conduct during their testimony before the Parliamentary Privileges Committee to the Attorney-General’s Office in February this year, which in turn referred the matter to the police for investigation.

The Police in their statement said: “In February, Parliament referred the conduct of Mr Pritam Singh and Mr Faisal Manap before the Committee of Privileges to the Public Prosecutor, who in turn referred the matter to the police for investigations.

“The police have been going through the evidence provided by Parliament and will now be engaging persons relevant to the case as part of the investigations into the possible offences disclosed.”

At the debate on the Committee of Parliament report on Tuesday (Feb 15), Leader of the House Indranee Rajah explained aspects why Workers’ Party head and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh had been referred to the Public Prosecutor in relation to the COP investigation of former WP MP Raeesah Khan’s lies in Parliament.

Ms Rajah characterised the breaches Mr Singh had committed as “serious.”

Calling the report “sound and balanced, given the circumstances,” she asked the House to vote in favour of the motion. 

In her speech, the House Leader made a distinction between the lies Ms Khan told and the ones she said Mr Singh had told.

“The seriousness of the conduct on the part of Mr Singh is this: 

Ms Khan lied to Parliament, and that’s bad enough.

But Mr Singh, on the other hand, if what the committee found is correct, not only lied but lied under oath.

And not only that.

But this was in proceedings before a select committee of Parliament conducting a formal inquiry and tasked with finding out the truth.”

She added that of further concern are the consequences of the lie the Leader of the Opposition told, because, if believed, would have affected the punishment given to Ms Khan.

“The lies (Pritam Singh allegedly told) would have determined the fate of another MP who was being looked at in front of the committee of Privileges.

And that is a different order of seriousness altogether,” she added.

Ms Rajah said that this is a Part 5 offence under the PPIPA, the Parliament (Privileges, Immunities and Powers) Act 1962, and is the reason why the COP recommended that Mr Singh be referred to the Public Prosecutor.

The House Leader further said that it meant Ms Khan was following his guidance that she lied on Oct 4, which Ms Rajah again characterised as very serious. 

“Given the seriousness of the matter, it will be the fairest course of action to all concerned to refer it to the Public Prosecutor,” who would have a fresh opportunity to consider all evidence, including new evidence brought forward, in deciding whether criminal charges would be brought against Mr Singh.

This will also give Mr Singh the opportunity to defend and vindicate himself, with legal counsel, if criminal charges are brought.

“The matter would be adjudicated by courts which are independent,” she added.

In the case of Mr Faisal, who had also been referred to the Public Prosecutor, his refusal to produce documents and answer questions also amounts to a Part 5 offence under the PPIPA.

Mr Singh also faces potential offences of dishonourable conduct and contempt of Parliament for lying to the committee and for his role in guiding Ms Khan to lie to Parliament.

However, the committee has recommended that Parliament defer any action on these until the criminal proceedings, if any, are completed.

Decisions on other offences said to have been committed by other leaders of the WP will also be deferred until the outcome of the referral of Mr Singh’s conduct to the Public Prosecutor.

Ms Rajah said: “In conclusion, the conduct of Mr Singh and Mr Faisal will be considered by the Public Prosecutor under the criminal justice process.

Parliament will only consider the remaining issues if any after the criminal justice process has taken its course. By which time we will have the benefit of what emerges from the process.

It is the fairest way forward for all.”

She then proceeded to ask the Members of Parliament “to accept and support the motions, as I do, so as to uphold public trust in Parliament and in our democracy.”

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