Singapore — The fallout of the lies former WP MP Raeesah Khan told in Parliament last year has posed a big threat to her party, especially to its secretary-general, Pritam Singh.

The report of the Committee of Privileges, published on Feb 10, recommended for Ms Khan to be fined $35,000 for her falsehoods. The COP also concluded that the WP leaders had also lied in the matter. It found that Ms Khan had acted under the direction of Mr Singh, party chair Sylvia Lim and vice-chair Faisal Manap. 

The committee also recommended that Messrs Singh and Manap be referred to the Public Prosecutor in relation to Mr Singh’s conduct before the committee and for Mr Manap’s possible contempt of Parliament for refusing to answer “relevant” questions. 

The Public Prosecutor will then consider if criminal proceedings should be launched against the two Aljunied GRC MPs, which may lead them to lose their seats in Parliament.

Some supporters, however, have doubled down on their support for the Leader of the Opposition, and believe that he can emerge from this crisis even stronger.

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Facebook user Michael Han, a Director at Hoh Law Corporation, wrote about “The second coming of Pritam Singh” in a recent post.

Mr Singh has no doubt already made history in Singapore, being appointed the first Leader of the Opposition in 2020, as Mr Han pointed out. 

“It opened up a fresh new page for Singapore history from ground up. What JBJ, Chiam and Low could not achieve, Pritam did it in his relatively short run way.”

What was a personal triumph was also “the turning point of Singapore’s PAP-dominated politics,” with “the sea of white in Parliament now has an identifiable spot of blue.”

Mr Han wrote that he “believed that it was the maturation of politics in our little red dot.”

But for him, Mr Singh’s turning point was the COP report, “a sterner tide Pritam’s bravado in the COP proceedings could not paddle or steer safely away.”

Mr Han suggested that the Leader of the Opposition had perhaps miscalculated the strategy he needed to adopt in facing the COP.

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“Maybe, he had underestimated those called to judge him and misread the political charisma he carried on his political back. More relevantly, he may have overlooked that the proceedings before the PAP-dominated elevated bench (7 vs 1) is not the same as going from door to door to canvass for votes from the electorate.”

Later in his post, Mr Han added, “Pritam went in western cowboy style, a persona I didn’t think suit his humble and measured disposition. And while he won the Mr Congeniality award by the way he left Edwin Tong fumbling for his notes, he took several blows on the integrity front.” 

However, when he had campaigned during the last General Election, within a few months after the pandemic had started, Mr Han wrote that Mr Singh “met the storm and managed to steer through it.” 

“He came against the seemingly endless flow of monetary giveaways from the rich coffers of the ruling party. He came against a season of trials for the people, struggling to make ends meet, and as such, would naturally crave for stability and predictability. The pundits’ bet was that the safe refuge of the status quo would naturally neutralise the vexing curse of status quo. But, well, it didn’t,” he added.

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But he pointed out that “Politics is not just about doing the right thing. It’s also about doing the right thing right. If you play the season well, you ride it well too.”

Ultimately, he is pulling for Mr Singh to assess this particular season correctly, and act accordingly, ending his post by writing, 

“And if he reads the season right, and return to what he does best, that is, being the Pritam many have come to trust and vote for, I believe we may just witness the second coming of Pritam Singh.” /TISG

Related: ‘All the blame should be squarely’ on Raeesah Khan

‘All the blame should be squarely’ on Raeesah Khan