Singapore—The case of Parti Liyani, the Indonesian domestic helper whose conviction for theft was overturned on September 4, has been in the limelight in Singapore, with the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announcing on September 6 that assessments will be made to determine if further action will be needed.
Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam commented on the issue as well. On Tuesday, September 8, the Minister said “Something has gone wrong in the chain of events” in Ms Parti’s case.
The domestic helper worked for Mr Liew Mun Leong and his family from 2007 until 2016. Mr Liew is the Chairman of the Changi Airport Group (CAG).
On March 20, 2019, District Judge Olivia Low found Ms Parti guilty of four counts of theft. She was sentenced to 26 months in jail for allegedly stealing more than S$34,000 worth of goods from the Liew family.
Ms Parti, 46, appealed against conviction and was successfully represented by Mr Anil Balchandani of Red Lion Circle Advocates and Solicitors. He had submitted that she had been framed by her employers in order to prevent her from filing a complaint of illegal deployment.
High Court Judge Chan Seng Onn, in his ruling to acquit Ms Parti, pointed out the problematic nature in which the case was investigated.
Speaking on the matter, Mr Shanmugam said, “The (High Court) judge’s comments, we take them very seriously. Something has gone wrong in the chain of events. We have to look at that, and deal with what went wrong.
We have to find out what happened, why it happened and then deal with it. And be accountable. That’s the best way to build trust in public, in the system. To come out in public and say what steps we have taken once the reviews are done.”
In the light of the Law minister saying the matter would be looked into, some netizens have brought up the issue of Ivan Lim, asking what has happened in his case, which authorities also said they would investigate.
Ivan Lim had been announced as one of the ruling People’s Action Party’s (PAP) candidates for July’s General Election but withdrew his name from contesting after allegations concerning his past conduct circulated online, especially from the time when Mr Lim, a General Manager for Specialised Vessels of Keppel Offshore & Marine, was in National Service.
At that time, Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said that the party would look into the allegations against Mr Lim after the GE. ”We’ll come back to the issues concerning Ivan Lim after the elections because we don’t want to leave them unresolved. But we really have to move on now and focus on the issues.”
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also weighed in on the matter, saying, “After the elections, the party will investigate the veracity of the allegations against Ivan and we will come to a view on the matter.”
A meme has been circulating online that contains a quote from Mr Shanmugam, saying, “Gov’t will deal with what went wrong with case of acquitted maid,” followed by “Gov’t also said it will investigate this case after the elections,” with a photo of Ivan Lim speaking at a media conference.
At the bottom of the meme it says, “But not a single word till now.”
Here are some of the comments netizens made on the matter: