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Raeesah, the Workers’ Party, and the Committee of Privileges

The drama continues, with many questions left to be answered. One major one was: why did the Committee of Privileges decide to release a “special report” just before the weekend, before they’d heard from the senior Workers’ Party leadership? Would the release of such a report not create a false impression in the public’s mind, and be unfair to the Workers’ Party since they hadn’t even had the chance to tell their side of the story yet?

The Office of the Clerk of Parliament said that this was because the Committee of Privileges wanted to keep Parliament informed of the proceedings in a “timely manner”. 🤨 I’m not sure how many people were really convinced by that explanation. In any case, we haven’t heard updates from the Committee since, and while people have been asking for WP’s response to all that has come out since (if you need a refresher, you can catch up via last week’s wrap and special issue), the party says that it would be inappropriate for them to comment right now since the Committee’s process is still ongoing.

Apart from that, there’s been a little sideshow related to whether or not the senior WP leadership back in 2012 had asked Yaw Shin Leong to keep quiet over allegations of an extra-marital affair. Yaw had resigned from the party back then after these allegations surfaced; he now says that he had “accounted the situation candidly” to Low Thia Khiang, the WP leader back then, and been told to keep quiet. Low Thia Khiang and Sylvia Lim have denied telling Yaw to do any such thing.

Singapore gets downgraded by CIVICUS

The CIVICUS Monitor, a global collaboration project monitoring fundamental freedoms around the world, has released its People Power Under Attack 2021 report, in which it has downgraded Singapore’s status from “obstructed” to “repressed”.

This “repressed” status is the second-worst that a country can get in CIVICUS’ ranking, so this isn’t happy news in the slightest.

Got some more…

🎞 Check out the Freedom Film Festival: they’ve got a cool line-up of online screenings followed by post-show discussions. I’ll be moderating the discussion later today after the screening of Untracing the Conspiracy, so come join us!

🦠 How strict has Singapore been about enforcing Covid-19 regulations? Well, over 1,000 cases have been prosecuted in court over an 18-month period.

💉 Here we go, we’ve got our first locally transmitted Omicron case. She’s a frontline worker at Changi Airport; we’d previously found three Omicron cases among travellers. Pfizer and BioNTech say that a three-course shot of their vaccine neutralised Omicron in a lab test, so fingers crossed for good news. Get your shots, everyone. Vaccines will soon also be available to children.

📚 Ethos Books is having their Preview Night tomorrow evening, where they give everyone a glimpse of the line-up of new publications they've got planned for 2022. Exciting: I'm among them! This makes it Facebook official and really lights a fire under my butt to get to work. I'm so close to finishing Draft 2 (and then we go straight into Draft 3 edits lolcry). You can tune into Preview Night on Facebook Live.

Our cats briefly learnt to share a bed!

Thank you for reading! Feel free to forward this on to anyone you think might be interested. 🙏🏼