Raeesah Khan given stern warning over social media post, says intention wasn't to create unrest

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has given "a stern warning" to Workers' Party member of parliament Raeesah Khan, according to multiple media reports. The concluded investigation comes after two police reports were filed against Khan in July regarding her past comments on social media. 

Earlier in July, SPF said in a statement that Khan was allegedly commented that Singapore law enforcement authorities discriminated against citizens, and that compared to other groups, rich Chinese and white people were treated differently under the law. In the context of a news article on the City Harvest Church ruling, Khan also allegedly commented that Singapore jailed minorities mercilessly, harassed mosque leaders but let corrupt church leaders who stole SG$50 million walk free, and questioned who had been paid.

SPF said it had consulted the Attorney-General’s Chambers, and was looking at an offence of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race under Section 298A of the penal code. 

In a Facebook post, Khan acknowledged the warning received, and explained that her intention was never to cause social unrest or division. "In my passion, I have said things in a manner that may have caused hurt to certain communities. I apologise for this. I will continue to learn and hope to contribute to positive change in Singapore," she added. 

Khan's Facebook post has since garnered positive reactions, with 5,800 reactions (consisting of likes, loves, and care), as well as many encouraging comments. Netizens told Khan to stay strong, and that they stand by her. A couple of netizens also said that it is normal to make mistakes, with one applauding Khan for owning up to her mistakes. Khan's incident also sparked a trending online hashtag "#IStandWithRaeesah", where netizen showed an outpour of support towards the politican. 

During the same period of time, Khan's comments were highlighted by social media influencer Wendy Cheng, better known as Xiaxue. Cheng had posted on her Instagram Stories that Workers’ Party candidate Khan should "stop trying to divide the nation with [her] race politics" and that political parties should "stop fielding radical feminists/leftists as candidates". Following that, netizens pointed out that Cheng herself made insensitive comments online towards various minority groups. Netizens even took it upon themselves to reach out to brands that have worked with Cheng to "hold her accountable" and have them "reconsider" future partnerships with her. A Google document was created by netizens which compiled a list of brands that have worked with Cheng since January 2019.

According to multiple media reports, SPF confirmed police reports were lodged against Cheng, and no further action in relation to Cheng's posts will be taken. 

(Photo courtesy: 123RF)

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