Being a leader entails more than just simply giving out orders, but also managing the subordinates and keeping them in line within the standards of the organisation.
However, this particular leadership quality appears to be lacking in Leader of Opposition (LO) Pritam Singh, who also holds the position of Secretary General of the Worker’s Party (WP).
In fact there were signs of this apparent weakness in leadership in WP, back in September 2020, when then Sengkang GRC candidate Raeesah Khan made two Facebook posts accusing the Singapore law enforcement authorities of discriminating against minorities and jailing them mercilessly.
Evidently, Raeesah Khan had no basis or evidence to back her claims, and had to quickly make a public apology in a WP press conference for promoting enmity between different races, saying that she only intended to raise awareness on minority concerns. While all Raeesah Khan had to do was deliver her ill rehearsed apology in the press conference, WP Secretary General Pritam Singh had to literally stretch the limits of his eloquence in order to defend Raeesah Khan.
Being the forgiving and magnanimous people Singaporeans are, they were prepared to forgive Raeesah Khan, believing that she would have probably learnt her lesson from this episode. But just less than a year later, and much like a seasonal affair, Raeesah Khan’s habit of baselessly making accusations returned with a vengeance.
While speaking during a debate on empowering women on 3rd August, Raeesah Khan said she had accompanied a rape victim to make a police report three years ago in 2018, and personally saw the 25-year-old female victim cry after coming out of the police station, and added that “The police officer had allegedly made comments about her dressing, and the fact that she was drinking”.
Naturally, such a serious allegation required the personal attention of the Minister of Home Affairs Mr K. Shanmugam, who takes a serious view of the professional conduct of the police officers.
However, when Raeesah Khan was pressed for more details on this allegation, she was again unable to produce any evidence, and simply said that “…it did happen three years ago and I haven’t been successful getting in touch with the person I accompanied..”. And when Mr Shanmugam requested for more details such as the names of the police officers involved, details of the police station, and the month of the visit at the police station, Raeesah Khan simply responded by saying that she did not know any of those details.
At this point, Singaporeans must be wondering if this was going to become a regular affair for Raeesah Khan to continue making such baseless accusations against the Singapore enforcement authorities. The police already have a tough enough job of ensuring the safety and security of Singapore, and simply do not deserve to be put in a circus by Raeesah Khan, whenever she feels like it. Such baseless allegations can really harm trust in public institutions like the police force.
The Worker’s Party of today is the culmination of decades of grueling ground work by its former Secretary General Low Thia Khiang and other senior party members. Is Raeesah Khan going to be the meteorite strike that brings them back to the stone age? It seems likely so, if Raeesah Khan continues on her rampage.
Is WP Secretary General and LO Pritam Singh going to continue keeping quiet, or is he going to keep defending and justifying Raeesah Khan as an asset to the party? Eloquence may be an art, but there always comes a time when people’s patience just runs out. As the saying goes, only a fool will let the whole forest burn just because of one tree.Editor's Note: Do you have a story to share? Please use our Submission Form or email us.
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