Finally back home, former domestic worker Parti Liyani intends to stay in Indonesia taking care of her mother and open a food stall near her home in Nganjuk, East Java.
The Indonesian national missed her mother most during her four years of legal battle in Singapore, she told Channel NewsAsia (CNA) in an interview.
She said she was happy to be home and hoped her acquittal would serve as an inspiration to others in a similar plight.
She also hoped her case would cause Singaporean employers not to accuse their helpers at random.
“Even though they are maids, don’t look down on them,” she said.
Ms Parti flew home to Indonesia on Jan 26, after a four-year fight to clear her name. During this time, she was unable to work and had to depend on the kindness of the migrant workers’ group, Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME), that supported her.
Ms Parti had worked for the family of the former Changi Airport Group (CAG) chairman Liew Mun Leong from 2007 to 2016. She was dismissed on Oct 28, 2016, and flew home to Indonesia.
Mr Liew filed a police report against Ms Parti on Oct 30, 2016, claiming to have found items belonging to his family. This led to Ms Parti’s arrest when she returned to Singapore on Dec 2, 2016.
In August 2017, she was charged with four counts of theft, which involved 144 items valued at more than S$50,000.
Two months later, she filed a report at the Ministry of Manpower, saying she had been illegally deployed to clean the home and office of Mr Karl Liew, the son of Mr Liew Mun Leong.
On March 20, 2019, District Judge Olivia Low sentenced her to two years and two months in jail for theft. Ms Parti appealed against the sentence.
On Sept 4, 2020, she was acquitted of theft. Justice Chan Seng Onn noted in his decision that there was “reason to believe that the Liew family … took the pre-emptive first step to terminate” Ms Parti to prevent her from filing a complaint of illegal deployment.
Shortly afterwards, Mr Liew stepped down as CAG chairman.
CNA spoke to Ms Parti at her family’s home in Nganjuk, East Java, on Feb 3.
She told CNA that she has no regrets over the events of the last four years, and wants to inspire others who have been wrongfully accused.
“If you’re innocent, you have to defend yourself and fight. Don’t give up.
Don’t think because you have a family (to take care of), you have to quit. Don’t be like that. Hopefully, there won’t be any case like this again in Singapore,” CNA quotes her as saying.
Ms Parti said how happy she was to reunite with her family, especially her mother.
“It feels like a dream … I am very happy that I can return to Indonesia and meet my family.
“I missed my mother most. I miss the others too, but not as much as I missed mother.”
While she was in Singapore, she called her mother every month, but did not disclose her problems to prevent her mother from worrying. Neither did she reveal the extent of her plight to her siblings.
It was only after her family had seen news coverage of her case after she was acquitted that she told them everything.
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