Singapore GE2020: Netizens Lash Out at PAP for Demanding Explanation from WP on Raeesah Khan

PAP issued a statement on Monday demanding Workers' Party to clear its stand on Raeesah Khan and her comments that were under police investigation

Netizens are not happy with the People's Action Party (PAP) demanding Workers' Party to state its stand on the matter of its candidate Raeesah Khan and her social media posts that are under police investigation.

Citing the Ivan Lim saga that unfolded two weeks ago, netizens said PAP should not have demanded an explanation since WP didn't either. Some also said that PAP was contradicting itself with their request. In the case of Lim, who withdrew following intense criticism on social media for his past behavior, PAP said it would review his case after the election while Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned against "trial by internet". But in Khan's case, PAP did the same. They have launched a campaign on Twitter to support Khan, who is also a social activist.

Raeesah Khan
WP's Raeesah Khan is contesting from Sengkang GRC Facebook/ Raeesah Khan

"The most immature, contradicting "comeback" I've ever seen. When Ivan Lim was bashed by netizens with personal encounters, the PAP said this is a chance for him to redeem himself, to serve the people," said one user on Twitter.

"PAP wants to review Ivan Lim case after the election but WP can't do the same. They released a statement demanding WP to address this matter immediately but avoided all their allegations," said another user.

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Reason for Backlash

The backlashes began after PAP, on Monday, July 6, issued a statement questioning Khan's candidacy in Sengkang GRC, where she is teaming up with He Ting Ru, Jamus Lim and Louis Chua for the upcoming Singapore General Election on July 10.

"In fairness to voters, both in Sengkang and elsewhere, the WP should state its stand on Ms Raeesah's posts, since she has admitted to making highly derogatory statements about Chinese and Christians. Why does the WP still consider her worthy of consideration as an MP?" the PAP said in the statement.

Media statement
PAP's media statement People's Action Party

On Sunday, July 5, Singapore Police Force launched an investigation into Khan's comments that allegedly promoted enmity between different groups on religion and race. Late that evening, Khan apologized while WP secretary-general said that she would continue to campaign but refused to clarify the party's stand on the matter.

"She is really vested in what residents are facing. I think those are very important criteria for me personally. So, I have got no regrets for fielding a candidate who is like them," Singh said.

Backing candidates or lashing out against their past behavior isn't new. While it did begin with Lim, some also targeted PAP candidates Ng Ling Ling (Ang Mo Kio GRC) and Shawn Huang (Jurong GRC). But both successfully defended themselves. Some also praised another PAP candidate Desmond Tan for his 'down-to-earth' attitude.