Singapore—Unlike the Ivan Lim incident, which came and went fairly quickly, the situation involving police reports filed against Workers’ Party candidate Raeesah Khan has not blown over, and may even be picking up more steam.
Netizens, some of whom are avowedly pro-government, are speaking up in support of Ms Khan, with many saying they believe the report against her had been unwarranted and unjust.
Hashtags such as #IStandWithRaeesah and even #CatsForRaeesahKhan have been seen on Twitter, while on Facebook, a public group page called We Stand Behind Raeesah! 🥰 was created on July 5, the same day the Singapore Police Force confirmed that there were reports filed against the candidate.
In two days, over 5,000 people have joined the group and hundreds of posts are put up in support of the WP candidate daily.
Even those who could have shown offence at Ms Khan’s 2018 online remarks are supporting her with the tagline Chinese Solidarity for Raeesah, which appears side by side with #WeWereNotHurt.
On change.org, a petition entitled “Let Raeesah Khan campaign in peace. Conduct any investigations after the elections,” was started by a netizen and has gotten over 9,700 signatories as of the writing of this article.
And when the People’s Action Party (PAP) released a statement on July 6 asking for the WP to “state its stand on Ms Raeesah’s posts since she has admitted to making highly derogatory statements about Chinese and Christians,” and questioning why the party still considered her worthy to run for MP, many netizens were angered.
it disgusts me that we are a first world country with a Govt like this. Since young we pledged daily that we’re a ‘democratic society, based on justice and equality’ & ‘regardless of race, language, or religion’
— thea (@antheeah) July 6, 2020
Netizens Sangeetha Thanapal and Rachel Zeng have also put out a statement of support for Ms Khan, which they encourage others to share and sign.
The statement reads, “Ms Khan is an outspoken critic of institutionalized racism faced by many within minority communities in Singapore. She is not the first to be investigated for pointing out the existence of institutional discrimination in the country. Ms Khan’s record speaks for itself. She was President of Murdoch University’s Guild of Students for two years. Her work with the Reyna Movement (for which the Straits Times christened her a hero) provides testimony of her advocacy for some of the most marginalised women in the world. Her actions and record of service over the years as someone who strongly supports those in need is well-documented. It is an act of defamation to tar her with the label of racist.
We do not believe she has anything to apologize for. Still, her willingness to do so is a credit to her, and is a quality sorely lacking in many PAP leaders themselves. Finally, we would also like to express our solidarity with our friends in the Malay and Indian communities whose lives have been impacted by racial and religious discrimination. We stand firm in the believe that such discrimination is unacceptable. Please continue to tell your stories and to call out racism.”
On the Facebook page Wake Up, Singapore, a post was put up that said “the best petition” that supports Ms Khan and what she fights for is to vote for her on July 10.
#IstandwithRaeesah #westandwithRaeesah #makeyourvotecount