Tracetogether Lie Controversy: Raeesah Khan's Impact on Singapore Politics

Singapore—After the Public Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) released a statement on the afternoon of July 5 (Sunday) confirming that two reports were filed against Workers’ Party (WP) GE 2020 candidate Raeesah Khan concerning comments she made online in 2018 concerning race and religion, Ms Khan issued a public apology.

“My intention was never to cause any social division, but to raise awareness to minority concerns,” said the candidate.

“I apologise to any racial group or community who have been hurt by my comments. My remarks were insensitive, and I regret making them.

I feel passionate about minority issues, regardless of race, and in my passion, I made improper remarks, and I have to be accountable for them.

I will fully cooperate with police investigations.”

Ms Khan is a WP candidate for the new Sengkang Group Residency Constituency, and the SPF said that reports were filed against her on July 4 and 5. She allegedly made comments on social media “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,” according to the SPF statement.

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Her comments were made in the context of a news article on the City Harvest Church ruling, to the effect that in Singapore, minorities are jailed and mosque leaders are harassed. However, corrupt church leaders who stole S$50 million are allowed to go free. She also reportedly questioned who had gotten paid in the matter.

The statement added that the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has been consulted by the Police. The AGC said, “an offence of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race under Section 298A of the Penal Code is disclosed.”

It also said that investigations were being carried out, adding, “The offence of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race under Section 298A of the Penal Code carries an imprisonment term of up to three years, or a fine, or both.”

Facebook posts have recently appeared showing alleged screenshots of Ms Khan’s comments regarding the result of the City Harvest Church trial and the people who were seen gathering together at Robertson Quay when Singapore was still under circuit breaker measures. 

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On the Facebook page Singapore Matters, a screenshot of a post reportedly from Ms Khan from February 2018 with a link to an article from Yahoo Singapore entitled “Shanmugam to make ministerial statement on City Harvest Church Ruling” was posted on July 4.

Her caption read, “Singapore jails minorities mercilessly, harasses mosque leaders but lets corrupt church leaders who stole SGD50 million walk free. Who did they pay?” —/TISG

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