Most Sengkang residents polled support resignation of MP Raeesah Khan
Sengkang residents interviewed by The Straits Times by and large said it was the right thing for Workers' Party MP Raeesah Khan to resign, noting that her action of lying to Parliament had shown dishonesty not befitting of an elected representative, and had eroded the trust of people.
But three of the 20 residents polled at Compassvale in Sengkang on Wednesday (Dec 1) felt she could have risen above the incident and continued to serve.
They were the exceptions, though, with most echoing security guard Ramaiah Umarani, 65, who said: "I think she made the right choice (by resigning)."
The Sengkang resident of 20 years noted: "As an MP, she shouldn't set a bad example by lying to the public, because they wouldn't trust her anymore. As a minister or MP, they should be honest to carry out their job well."
Retiree Steven Goh, a resident of Compassvale for 10 years, said he was not surprised by Ms Khan's resignation.
The 72-year-old said in Mandarin: "I think it's good for her to resign. How can you represent the people if you are not honest?"
Agreeing, Mr Ryan Tang, 60, who works as a service provider in the transport sector and has lived in Sengkang for six years, said: "This is the best way of handling the matter. She has lost credibility and cannot continue to serve the residents. This is the only way out.
"But I think its very unfortunate for her. For her to be elected to this position, she must have her qualities."
Other residents, like Mr Jason Neo, were more torn by her decision.
The 37-year-old chef, who has lived in Sengkang for 20 years, said: "It's a yes and no thing. On the one hand, it is the right thing for her to resign because she has broken the trust of the people. On the other hand, I think she should prove herself to be better, improve from this, and win back the trust of the residents."
Also disagreeing that she should resign was Mr Shawn Loh, 45, an engineer who has lived in Sengkang for two years. He said: "She should be responsible for the promises that she had made to the residents during the election. Since she has apologised, then she should continue her service in the Sengkang area."
Operations manager Aina Samsudin, 35, said Ms Khan had left a deep impression on her.
She said: "I think the situation should not be the reason for her to resign. Because I think it shows that she is human. She should rise above this. After all, people make mistakes and I think she has been doing a great job as an MP."
Residents were cleanly divided on whether there should be a by-election to replace Ms Khan.
Ms Umarani said: "I think there should be a by-election because in every constituency there should be an MP to help the residents there. If she is not there, who is going to replace her? How are the residents going to look for help?"
Mr Goh, the retiree, however, felt that there was no need for a by-election, citing the pandemic, which would make it difficult for people to go out to vote.
He hoped, instead, that Prof Lim would take over the Compassvale ward. He said: "I saw the way he expressed himself in Parliament and I think he would do quite well. The people have a good impression of him."
Ms Khan had admitted on Nov 1 to lying to Parliament about the details of a sexual assault case she had alleged was mishandled by the police. She resigned from the party, which means she stepped down as MP, on Tuesday.
The other MPs in the GRC are Ms He Ting Ru, Associate Professor Jamus Lim and Mr Louis Chua.