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WP candidate apologises for posts allegedly promoting enmity between different groups

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Workers' Party (WP) Sengkang candidate Raeesah Khan apologised on Sunday for two Facebook posts said to allege police discrimination against minorities.

Singapore

WORKERS' Party (WP ) Sengkang candidate Raeesah Khan apologised on Sunday for two Facebook posts said to allege police discrimination against minorities.

At an unplanned press conference the party called on Sunday night, the 26-year-old said she did not mean to cause social division, but had made the remarks as she wanted to raise awareness about minority concerns.

Flanked by WP leaders Pritam Singh, Sylvia Lim and her GRC teammates, Ms Khan, with her head bowed and reading from a piece of paper, said: "I apologise to any racial group or community who have been hurt by my comments. My remarks were insensitive, and I regret making them. I feel really passionate about minority issues regardless of race, and in my passion I made improper remarks, and I have to be accountable for them. I will fully cooperate in any police investigations."

The apology comes after the police issued a statement on Sunday about two police reports that were made against Ms Khan.

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Police said in a statement on Sunday that she had allegedly commented that Singapore law enforcement authorities discriminated against citizens, and that compared with other groups, rich Chinese and white people were treated differently under the law.

Another police report was made over a separate post. In the context of a news article on the City Harvest Church ruling, she was alleged to have commented that Singapore jailed minorities mercilessly, harassed mosque leaders but let "corrupt church leaders who stole S$50 million" free.

Responding to questions from the media, Mr Singh said the party would stand behind its Sengkang team and he and Ms Lim were at the press conference to support them.

The rest of the candidates, equity analyst Louis Chua, economist Jamus Lim and lawyer He Ting Ru looked on solemnly but did not answer questions.

Asked if this matter would affect Ms Khan's candidacy, Mr Singh said it was too early to talk about it and that the police investigations would have to be allowed to take its course.

He added that he had not known about the Facebook posts beforehand, but noted that at 26-years-old, Ms Khan is WP's youngest candidate and comes from a generation that has "completely grown up on social media".

"For me, I would be actually a bit disappointed if our candidates try to sanitise their past. I think they should be upfront and authentic to the public. This is who they are. And in the event there are certain posts or certain comments that they may have made which are untoward, then I would expect them to explain themselves," he said.

He added that he has no regrets fielding her and that she will continue with her campaign.

"I know that she takes each case very seriously, regardless of race, regardless of religion. She's very vested in what issue the resident is facing," he said. THE STRAITS TIMES

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