Tidbits from Faisal's COP hearing

Faisal Hearing
There were a few interesting nuggets of information that came out of Faisal's hearing.

Tidbits:

  1. In the same 3rd Aug speech where she lied, Raeesah also offended feelings of the Muslim community in Singapore.
    While most of the public were focused on Raeesah’s accusation, a part of the Muslim community in Singapore were outraged by her statements on polygamy and genital mutilation.
    The outrage was significant enough to draw attention away from the issue of the police accusation within the party. In other words, right after 3rd Aug, WP had to start fighting fires on multiple fronts.
    Faisal was busy helping her draft public statements to apologise to the Muslim community. While presumably, Pritam was working on getting more information from Raeesah’s regarding her accusation of the police, separate from the others.
    Her first major speech, and what a disaster that turned out to be.
  2. Raeesah wanted to start wearing a hijab in public.
    Raeesah had requested to meet with Faisal after the disastrous lie on 3rd Aug. They met on the 7th Aug before Faisal found out about the truth. She wanted to ask him for advice because.... she is considering to start wearing a hijab in public!?
    This is out of the blue, considering there were many other pressing issues at hand.
    I’m skeptical as to what her true intentions were to put on the hijab, given that she had just angered the Muslim community and is in crisis control. It would have been definitely a good PR move to placate the Muslim community. This is consistent with her lies and acts of manipulations which have come to light so far.
    Or perhaps I'm reading too much. She could have had a religious awakening after 3rd Aug and wanted to start wearing the hijab.
  3. This whirlwind of events after the lie actually sheds new insights to why WP leadership might be slow to react.
    Faisal was more concerned about getting the record straight with the Muslim community, he wanted Raeesah to publish public statements that she was not against the teaching of Islam. From the hearing, this was his only concern at that time.
    Having said that though, WP is still at fault for ridiculously dragging their feet way past 3 months.
  4. Religion definitely has a big influence in Faisal’s life.
    From his private messages, it is consistent that Faisal is truly faithful and sincere to the teachings of Islam. I have a lot of respect for his conviction and sincerity.
    But I will definitely not be taking leadership advice from him anytime soon.
  5. Faisal wanted to meet Raeesah with her parents over the statements that angered the Muslim community.
    The reason he gave was that her parents are influential members of the Muslim community, and it was important to meet Raeesah with them. Sounds interesting, almost like a meet the parents thing from school.
    Raeesah is a grown woman, her actions should be decoupled from her parents. Wanting to meet Raeesah with parents gives the public an insight to how Faisal viewed her.
  6. After the break, the hearing turned adversarial.
    The committee asked Faisal whether Pritam and Sylvia brought any schedules/notes to a meeting which took place a day or two before. Faisal turned very defensive refusing to answer the question.
    To me, the committee was just trying to establish if there were any other evidence in the form of documents. And also, to understand before the hearing, to what degree they might have worked together to confirm the events that transpired. It's well within the committee's rights to ask these questions to investigate any possibility that there were any form of coverup.
    I didn’t expect Faisal to be so defensive though. It felt like a non matter until he still refused to answer the question despite warnings about contempt. You can watch that exchange but fair warning, it's quite frustrating to watch.
    It was a yes no don’t know question but somehow Faisal blew the question out of proportion. This will definitely be brought up again in either Pritam or Sylvia’s hearing.
  7. There were moments where he exploded in rage after that too at Edwin Tong’s questioning.
    Listening to the hearing after the first break is quite a frustrating experience.
    Edwin wound up long meandering questions that was hard to follow. Faisal was evidently exhausted. He was already having problems following the questions when he was fresh.
    It was not a good look for Faisal’s temperament.
  8. The WP leaders do come across as being compassionate to Raeesah.
    But there are other more important matters than compassion for Raeesah. Integrity, leadership and governance are all sorely lacking from Faisal’s hearing of how they handled this.

Afterword:

  1. WP’s leaders came across as clueless and inept in Faisal’s own testimony.
    I don’t understand how Faisal could think that there’s no need to give Raeesah advice because she “did not explicitly ask for advice” is a good look for the party.
    As a leader, you have to step in, give advice and correct the members if something is wrong.
    Isn’t this kinda like “nobody asked for an apology” moment for WP? Just in an opposite “nobody ask for advice” bizarro way.
  2. Were there were other times where Faisal had to meet Raeesah with her parents?
    I’m also wondering how close the parents were with the WP leadership, and also are there any other shared interest (financial/political) between all parties that should be declared to the public.
    I hope that there were no undue influence in the decision for WP to field Raeesah as a candidate for Sengkang.
  3. I was very unimpressed by Faisal’s testimony.
    There’s a clear abdication of responsibility on his part. There’re moments where he deflected the questions and stated he couldn’t do anything by saying he was “overwhelmed” when Raeesah admitted the lie.
    I question if he’s qualified for the position of vice chairman. From his testimonies, it sounded like he’s not leading WP. He's more like an audience with a front row ticket.
    Anyway, that’s my opinion, you can watch the whole thing and arrive at a different conclusion.
  4. On that note, Faisal should thank his lucky stars that Min Shan was recused from the committee.
    There was no way Faisal could have kept up with Min Shan in an intellectual legal exchange.
    Case in point, watch this exchange in parliament.
    Min Shan would have his head served on a platter for the PAP if he was asking the questions.
  5. What is the organisation structure of WP?
    How big exactly is the leadership team in WP? From the testimony, it sounds like Pritam, Sylvia and Faisal are the only three avengers of the WP that is handling almost everything.
    The CEC sounded like a afterthought, instead of an integral part of the WP organisation. I know there was a leadership renewal process that just took place, but couldn’t they request for the previous leadership to fight this important crisis together?
  6. I think by now everyone should doubt Raeesah’s version of events.
    Faisal gave credible statements refuting Raeesah's evidences in her hearing. Most importantly, the part about taking the lie "to the grave".
    For the WP cadre members supporting her, I understand why they feel angry and unhappy with WP’s handling. But, I wonder if they were also hoodwinked as they were spoon fed information from Raeesah’s narrative.
  7. Somehow, Jamus is now suddenly asked to appear before the COP.
    Jamus is coming
    According to what I can gather from the special report, that happened after Pritam’s testimony. We still don’t know what Pritam has said yet.
  8. If Pritam somehow frivolously incriminated Jamus into this situation, it will just be another new level of incompetence.
    Pritam should have tried to limit the fallout. Of course I’m not advocating that Pritam lie and cover up the truth. But if he stupidly said something non important and gave PAP a gun to shoot Jamus, I would be even more disappointed in him.
  9. We can blame Raeesah for many things, but much of this mess is also caused by WP’s leadership self sabotage.
    Even without Raeesah, would something have happened in the future that bring light to the multiple leadership failures in WP?
  10. A strong democratic society requires a high functioning government plus credible opposition.
    That's why regrettably, there are no winners, only losers at the end of this debacle.
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