PAP will not seek Pritam Singh’s suspension as MP, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

PAP will not seek Pritam Singh’s suspension as MP

The People’s Action Party will not seek to suspend Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh as an MP, following his charges on March 19 for lying to a parliamentary committee over a case involving former MP Raeesah Khan.

In a statement on the same day, PAP organising secretary Grace Fu added that her party will not comment on the merits of the case as it is currently before the courts.

Ms Fu noted that the party has been asked if it will seek to suspend Singh through its MPs, given that the Workers’ Party chief has now been formally charged.

“The PAP MPs will not be seeking Mr Singh’s suspension as an MP while legal proceedings are pending,” she said. “This is in line with Parliament’s resolution to defer any sanctions in respect of Mr Singh’s, Ms Sylvia Lim’s, and Mr Faisal’s respective roles in the matter of former MP Raeesah Khan’s untruth, until after the conclusion of the investigations and criminal proceedings (if any) against Mr Singh.”

In November 2021, a parliamentary committee was convened to look into a lying controversy involving former WP MP Raeesah Khan.

The committee called Singh as a witness and said later that he had not been truthful during the hearings while under oath. It recommended referring him to the public prosecutor for further investigations with a view to consider criminal proceedings, which Parliament later endorsed.

The Attorney-General then referred him and fellow Aljunied MP Faisal Manap to the police for investigation. But in a statement on March 19, the Attorney-General’s Chambers said it decided not to charge Mr Faisal after having considered the totality of the evidence.

Ms Fu said her party’s decision is also consistent with its earlier position on a motion filed by Progress Singapore Party secretary-general Hazel Poa in September 2023.

Ms Poa, who is an Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP), had filed a motion to suspend former Transport Minister S. Iswaran as an MP following the news that he had been arrested by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.

At the time, investigations were ongoing and Leader of the House Indranee Rajah said taking any action on Iswaran at that stage would be premature. Both PAP and WP MPs had rejected the motion.

Iswaran was subsequently handed 27 charges on Jan 18, including allegedly obtaining tickets from property tycoon Ong Beng Seng to shows such as Harry Potter And The Cursed Child.

He resigned from the People’s Action Party and stepped down as transport minister and West Coast GRC MP.

In her party’s statement on Singh, Ms Fu said: “Parliament must deal rigorously with any MP who has committed wrongdoing, but suspending an MP is a serious action that must be done in accordance with due process of the law and natural justice.

“Parliament should not prejudge the outcome of the proceedings.”