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Police probing WP MP’s claim that officers made insensitive remarks to rape victim, but it needs more info: Shanmugam

SINGAPORE — The police will be interviewing Workers’ Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) Raeesah Khan to gather more information over an alleged incident that she raised in Parliament two months ago about a rape victim. The victim, she claimed, came out crying from a police station after officers made insensitive remarks.

Police probing WP MP’s claim that officers made insensitive remarks to rape victim, but it needs more info: Shanmugam

Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said the police are investigating an incident Member of Parliament Raeesah Khan raised in Parliament two months ago but they need more details from her to help with their investigations.

  • Member of Parliament Raeesah Khan said two months ago that a rape victim she accompanied to a police station was subjected to insensitive remarks by officers
  • Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam asked her for more information so that the police can investigate the incident
  • She declined, saying there were confidentiality concerns

 

SINGAPORE — The police will be interviewing Workers’ Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) Raeesah Khan to gather more information over an alleged incident that she raised in Parliament two months ago about a rape victim. The victim, she claimed, came out crying from a police station after officers made insensitive remarks.

During an exchange in Parliament on Monday (Oct 4), which interrupted the normal flow of proceedings, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said that Ms Raeesah’s allegations were serious and investigations were being conducted to find out what happened, but that the police needed more details to do so. 

On Aug 3, fellow WP MPs He Ting Ru and Leon Perera raised a private member’s motion on empowering women and several members of WP, including Ms Raeesah, made suggestions in their speeches

As part of her wider point that police officers should be equipped with sexual violence training to handle sexual assault cases, Ms Raeesah told of how a rape victim she accompanied to the police station to make a report came out crying because of the officer’s comments about her dressing and the fact that she was drinking. 

During that debate, Mr Desmond Tan, Minister of State for Home Affairs, asked Ms Raeesah, who is MP for Sengkang Group Representation Constituency, for details of the case, adding that the Government takes any claims of how the police might have mishandled a case seriously and would investigate the matter.

Ms Raeesah responded that the incident happened three years ago and she did not want the victim to be traumatised again. 

On Monday, Mr Shanmugam again asked Ms Raeesah for details of the incident that happened three years ago, but she declined, saying that there were confidentiality concerns. 

Mr Shanmugam pointed out that investigating the case and disciplining the police officers involved, if necessary, would not mean that the victim’s identity would be revealed. 

He asked Ms Raeesah if she could at least provide the police station she accompanied the victim to, the month she did so and, if possible, the names of the police officers that attended to the case. If not, a rough description of their gender and race would also suffice. 

“The Government is very serious about making sure that the police do the right thing. So if they haven’t behaved well, then we must discipline them. That means investigating what happened, identifying the office involved, that’s how we have maintained an excellent Home Team,” he said. 

In response, Ms Raeesah said that she preferred to maintain the confidentiality of the victim and would not like to reveal any information that Mr Shanmugam requested. 

Mr Shanmugam said that revealing the police station had no bearing on the confidentiality of the victim. He then asked if Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin had the power to direct answers from her. 

Ms Raeesah declined Mr Tan’s request for details — again citing confidentiality as the reason. 

To this, Mr Shanmugam said that he did not understand her point about confidentiality and asked her to confirm again whether her account she gave earlier is accurate, to which she confirmed that the incident did happen. 

In response to this, he said that the police had checked their records and that there were no cases that fitted Ms Raeesah’s description. 

“Confidentiality does not extend to not telling us which police station. And I will leave it here, for now. But that does not mean the matter rests,” Mr Shanmugam said. 

“At the very least, she must remember which police station, which year this happened and which month and some details of the number, and the ages and the races of the police officers.”

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Parliament K Shanmugam WP Workers' Party Raeesah Khan police sexual assault

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