WP chief Pritam Singh testified on Friday before a committee investigating a lie made in Parliament by Ms Raeesah Khan. The 9-hour hearing saw many testy exchanges between the Leader of the Opposition and Minister Edwin Tong. Read more: https://str.sg/3fRz
BEING TRANSPARENT WITH THE PUBLIC AND TRACETOGETHER
After Ms Khan admitted her lie on Nov 1, Mr Singh put up a Facebook post which made no mention that Ms Khan had confessed about the untruth to party leaders on Aug 8.
Mr Tong said it was important for Parliament and public to know that the WP leadership was aware of Ms Khan’s lie months back, but Mr Singh disagreed.
"What’s wrong with being open and transparent; honest, give all the information?" Mr Tong asked.
In response, Mr Singh said: "Sure, I agree with you.. that nothing is wrong with it. Why don’t you do the same when TraceTogether happened in late October? Why didn’t the Government just come out and tell the truth straight away, don’t wait for a parliamentary question?"
In October 2020, Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan became aware of the possibility that data collected by the contact-tracing TraceTogether app could be accessed by police, despite his earlier assurances that it would be used for Covid-19 purposes only.
But it was Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan who revealed this in January this year in response to a parliamentary question, sparking a public outcry that led to Dr Balakrishnan apologising in February and saying he took "full responsibility" for the error.
Mr Tong said he thought Mr Singh might bring this episode up.
"It’s because it’s very relevant," said Mr Singh. "This is a decision the Government made and a call the Government made. And this is the call I made."
Mr Tong said: "And I’m suggesting to you that this call you made was to suppress the information, suppress the fact that you knew because you knew that it will cast you in a bad light."
Mr Singh said he completely disagreed.
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