MP Raeesah Khan responds to stern warning issued by police for her social media posts

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·4-min read
Workers' Party Raeesah Khan speaking to reporters at Compassvale Link on the night of 5 July 2020. (SCREENCAP: Yahoo News Singapore)
Workers' Party Raeesah Khan speaking to reporters at Compassvale Link on the night of 5 July 2020. (SCREENCAP: Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Police have issued a stern warning to Sengkang Group Representation Constituency (GRC) Member of Parliament (MP) Raeesah Khan for two of her social media posts which were brought to light during the 2020 General Election.

In a media statement on Thursday (17 September), the police said that the warning was for the offence of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion of race for her social media posts on 2 February 2018 and 17 May 2020.

In addition, she also committed an offence of contempt by scandalising the court for her 2018 post.

For promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race under the Penal Code, an offender can be jailed up to three years and/or fined.

Raeesah on Thursday evening said in an apology posted on Facebook that she had not intended to cause social unrest or division.

“I have spent most of my youth and adult life advocating, campaigning and organising for minority causes...In my passion, I have said things in a manner that may have caused hurt to certain communities,” she wrote.

“I apologise for this. I will continue to learn and hope to contribute to positive change in Singapore.”

Raeesah also spoke about her recent interactions with the public in her new role as an MP, including those with Sengkang residents and those who require assistance.

“From these interactions, I have also learnt that as a leader, I have the power to start difficult conversations, and that it is vital to frame these conversations in a considerate and accountable manner. As an MP, I hope to use the appropriate platforms to speak out on matters concerning my constituents,” she said.

“I thank everyone for their understanding and support throughout this time. I am very grateful for it. I will do my best to pay it forward, and continue to use my voice in Parliament to speak frankly and responsibly on important issues.”

Police reports filed during GE2020

Two reports were filed on 4 and 5 July against Raeesah amid her GE2020 election campaign.

Police said then that the Workers’ Party (WP) member had allegedly commented that Singapore law enforcement authorities discriminated against citizens, and that compared to other groups, rich Chinese and white people were treated differently under the law.

In the context of a news article on the City Harvest Church court ruling, Raeesah was also alleged to have commented that Singapore “jailed minorities mercilessly, harassed mosque leaders but let corrupt church leaders free” as well as “questioned who had been paid”.

Raeesah later apologised for her “insensitive” remarks at a doorstop interview on 5 July, saying that her intention “was never to cause social divisions but to raise awareness on minority issues”. WP secretary-general Pritam Singh also said the party would be supporting her on the police reports.

She was interviewed by two investigation officers on 27 July from 9am to 1pm, Raeesah said on Thursday.

Her four-member WP team – which included Jamus Lim, He Ting Ru and Louis Chua – won the Sengkang GRC with 52.13 per cent of the votes during GE2020.

Man who filed reports also warned

Meanwhile, police have also issued a stern warning to the person who filed the two reports on Raeesah. The person is a male Facebook user who goes by the moniker Abdul Malik Mohammed Ghazali.

The warning was for the offence of making a threatening communication likely to cause alarm and two additional offences of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion of race for two separate social media posts on 8 February 2020.

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