by Amir Hussain and Wan Ting Koh
SINGAPORE - The police are investigating a Facebook user who is believed to have made a report on Workers’ Party (WP) Raeesah Khan for allegedly wounding religious or racial feelings, and for harassment.
The suspect, who uses the moniker Abdul Malik Mohammed Ghazali, had some reports lodged against him, the police confirmed on Tuesday (7 July) in reply to queries from Yahoo News Singapore. While the police mentioned the moniker Abdul Malik Mohammed Ghazali, they did not confirm the suspect’s name and age at this stage of investigations.
On his Facebook page, the suspect declared that he had reported Raeesah Khan, who is contesting in Sengkang group representation constituency (GRC), over her 2018 social media posts that allegedly promoted enmity between races.
“Whatever it is, I’m glad I was of the first to leak out and viral screenshots of her Twitter account. Thanks to the many unnamed sources with helping to provide the information as well (sic),” the suspect wrote on Facebook.
Meanwhile, in a Twitter account believed to belong to him, the suspect wrote, “My objective is for her and her team to be disqualified or lose their bid for Sengkang GRC.”
The police said in a statement, “The police are looking into the alleged offences of posting comments on social media with deliberate intent to wound religious or racial feelings under...the Penal Code and harassment under...the Protection from Harassment Act,”
Investigations are ongoing, they added.
About the case
Two police reports were made against Raeesah over the weekend.
In a statement on Sunday, the police said, “She 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.”
And in the context of a news article on the City Harvest Church court ruling, she allegedly commented that Singapore “jailed minorities mercilessly, harassed mosque leaders but let corrupt church leaders free” as well as “questioned who had been paid”.
“The police have consulted the Attorney-General's Chambers, which advised that an offence of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race under Section 298A of the Penal Code is disclosed,” the police said, adding that investigations are ongoing.
On Sunday evening, Raeesah apologised for her “insensitive” post while WP chief Pritam Singh said the party would stand by her.
“My intention was never to cause social divisions but to raise awareness on minority issues. I apologise to any racial group or community who have been hurt by my comments. My remarks were insensitive and I regret making them,” Raeesah told reporters.
“I feel very passionate about minority issues regardless of race. And in my passion, I made improper remarks. I will fully cooperate with police investigations.”
Khan is the WP’s youngest candidate and daughter of 2017 presidential hopeful Farid Khan.
She is also the founder and chief executive of the Reyna Movement, an organisation operating in Singapore and Johor that aims to empower marginalised women and children through upskilling programmes and community engagement.
She is contesting in Sengkang GRC alongside economics associate professor Jamus Lim, 44, lawyer He Ting Ru, 37, and equity research analyst Louis Chua, 33.
They are up against a team led by labour chief Ng Chee Meng, 51, from ruling People’s Action Party. The other candidates are senior parliamentary secretary for home affairs and health Amrin Amin, 42, senior minister of state for health and transport Lam Pin Min, 50, as well as new face and lawyer Raymond Lye, 54.
Voters go to the polls on Friday (10 July).
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