Maid tried to ship family's belongings to Indonesia, says son of Changi Airport Group chairman

Singapore’s State Courts. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)
Singapore’s State Courts. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

Parti Liyani, the former maid of Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong, had allegedly attempted to have the chairman’s son ship the valuables she took from the Liew family back to Indonesia after she was fired.

This was revealed by the Liew’s son, Karl Liew Kai Ling, who took the stand in the State Courts on Tuesday (24 April) – the second day of Parti’s trial.

Parti, 43, is contesting four charges of theft for allegedly stealing valuables from Karl, his wife Heather Lim Mei Ern, his sister May Liew Cheng, and Liew himself.

The allegedly stolen items include include a DVD player valued at $1,000, two Longchamp bags worth $400, a Gerald Genta watch worth $25,000, two white iPhone 4 smartphones with accessories valued at $2,056, 120 pieces of male clothing valued at $150 each, and a $500 blanket.

Karl testified on Tuesday that his father had tasked him to let Parti go on 28 October 2016. Karl then went to the family’s home at Chancery Lane with a staff member from Parti’s employment agency to convey the news to Parti, who initially resisted and screamed that Allah would punish him.

The reason for Parti’s dismissal was not revealed in court. She had worked for the family for eight years prior to being fired.

The maid finally agreed to leave and Karl gave her two to three hours to pack. Upon returning, he found that Liyani had three sealed boxes with her that she insisted Karl ship back to Indonesia for her. Karl said Liyani turned “violent” after he denied her request, added a the employment agency staff member had to restrain Parti as she had been “struggling a lot”.

In order not have the matter drag on, Karl agreed to ship the boxes to Indonesia. Shortly after, the staff member led her out of the house.

Karl related the incident to Lim and the latter said that they could not ship the three boxes to Indonesia without first inspecting their contents. The next day, Karl, Lim and Karl’s mother opened the boxes and allegedly discovered some of their possessions inside.

“I discovered that there were items we had not seen for many years… I got emotional as for me some items have sentimental value,” said Karl.

Lim decided to note down the items from the unpacked boxes. Video footage played in court showed heaps of clothes strewn about the floor.

In the video, Karl’s mother suggests that they give the items to the rag-and-bone man and added that the jewellery found in the boxes was fake. Lim then suggests that some of the jewellery appear to be real.

Karl accompanied his father to make a police report the following day on 30 October 2016. An arrest warrant was put out for Parti and she was arrested upon her return to Singapore on 2 December.

When asked by the prosecution about his relationship with Liyani, Karl replied that it was “not pleasant”. He described Liyani as a “fierce” person who would not listen to his instructions.

“I think she had very bad mood swings and she wasn’t very good with taking instructions from me,” he said.

By way of example, Karl said he would ask Parti if she had seen his lost items as she was “the general housekeeper” but she would simply ask him to look for the things himself.

Karl noted, however, that his wife and mother shared a “good” relationship with Parti. He said that his mother would defend Parti when the other family members suggested firing her and even loaned her money when the maid asked for it.

He said that Liew started suspecting Liyani of stealing from the family some two to three years before sending her home.

“He thought he was absent-minded but things went missing more frequently,” said Karl, adding that the missing items were of increasing prominence.

Karl said that while he came to share his father’s suspicions, he did not discuss the matter with Liew as there was “no concrete evidence”.

Karl also described the whole encounter with Parti on 28 October as having been “traumatic”.

“I didn’t want to give the reason why I want to let her go. I said, ‘I compensated you more than enough’ and she turns around and says Allah is going to punish me and that made me a little upset… I don’t want to deal with her,” he said.

The trial resumes tomorrow.

Related story:

Maid on trial for stealing over $50,000 in items from Changi Airport Group chairman