Raeesah Khan hits out at former leaders, argues they're using mental illness to discredit her

PHOTO: Screengrab/YouTube/govsg

SINGAPORE - It was "extremely out of line" for Workers' Party (WP) leaders to portray her as emotionally and mentally unstable in events relating to a lie she had told in Parliament, said former WP MP Raeesah Khan.

Ms Khan was testifying on Wednesday (Dec 22) to the Committee of Privileges investigating her over her Aug 3 lie in Parliament, when she had fabricated details about the police's handling of a sexual assault case during a speech.

She came clean to WP leaders on Aug 8, explaining that she had lied because of the personal trauma of being sexually assaulted; and admitted to her lie in Parliament on Nov 1. She eventually resigned from both the party and her post as MP on Nov 30.

On Nov 29, Ms Khan had told a WP disciplinary panel that her therapist said she "might" have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, which could lead to dissociation - a mental health condition where a person disconnects from one's thoughts and feelings, resulting in emotional numbing and an altered sense of time, among others.

"But I never said that this was something that I was going through," Ms Khan told the committee on Wednesday.

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Posted by AsiaOne on Wednesday, December 22, 2021

WP chief Pritam Singh had earlier told the committee on Dec 10 that Ms Khan's dissociation could have prompted her to lie in a text message to her aides saying the party's leaders had told her to take her lie "to the grave".

Ms Khan had sent this message on Aug 8, after she met with Mr Singh, WP chairman Sylvia Lim and vice-chairman Faisal Manap.

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On Wednesday, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong, who sits on the committee, said the impression he got from the testimonies of all three leaders was that Ms Khan had been very emotionally affected on Aug 8, and was unable to have a conversation on the issue.

Ms Khan said: "If I was not able to have a discussion on this issue, then why would I have been left on my own to make a decision as they have claimed, which is not what happened?"

She was referring to Mr Singh saying he had asked her to take ownership and responsibility of the lie and clarify it.

This article was first published in The Straits TimesPermission required for reproduction.