WP MP asked for details of alleged mishandling of sexual assault case
Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam yesterday pressed Workers' Party (WP) MP Raeesah Khan (Sengkang GRC) in Parliament to provide more details of an alleged incident of the police mishandling a sexual assault case.
Ms Khan had told the House during a debate on empowering women on Aug 3 that she accompanied a 25-year-old rape victim to a police station to make a police report three years ago, and that the police officer who interviewed the victim had allegedly made inappropriate comments about her dressing and the fact that she was drinking.
Mr Shanmugam said the police had since checked their records and found no cases that fit Ms Khan's description.
He asked Ms Khan to disclose various details of the alleged incident, including which police station she had accompanied the victim to, details about the police officers involved, whether she had brought the incident to the attention of the police or filed a complaint, as well as the rough date of the incident.
"Can I ask for Ms Khan to confirm in this House that everything she has told us is accurate, that she did accompany such a person and such an incident did happen?" he asked.
The minister said he understood and empathised with the need to avoid traumatising the victim again, and that an investigation into the incident need not involve publicly disclosing the victim's name.
But he added that the Government takes such allegations concerning the police very seriously, and that it was important to identify the officers involved, get their version of the story to be fair to them and take further steps, depending on the facts.
Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin also assured Ms Khan that she was not being asked to disclose the name or any details that would identify the victim.
In response, Ms Khan affirmed that her account was true but repeatedly declined to reveal any further details - including the police station they went to - due to confidentiality concerns.
"With regard to confidentiality (of) the survivor, I would not like to reveal any of this information," she said several times.
She also reiterated that she has not been successful in contacting the victim.