Parti Liyani case: Workers' Party chair Sylvia Lim files parliamentary motion

Opposition Member of Parliament Sylvia Lim. PHOTO: Screengrab from YouTube channel
Opposition Member of Parliament Sylvia Lim. PHOTO: Screengrab from YouTube channel

SINGAPORE — Workers' Party (WP) chair Sylvia Lim has filed an adjournment motion in Parliament for its next sitting in October, in the wake of the controversial case involving Indonesian domestic helper Parti Liyani and the family of prominent corporate leader Liew Mun Leong.

The motion, filed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Aljunied on Monday, is entitled “Justice For All: Enhancing Equity in the Criminal Justice System”, according to WP’s Facebook post on Wednesday (16 September). It will make reference to the “deeper issues” raised by Parti’s case.

“The intention is to discuss aspects of the criminal justice system and the challenges faced by persons of less means in navigating it. Specific suggestions to improve the system will be made,” said the WP.

Parti, 46, who had worked for Liew’s family for almost a decade, was recently acquitted of theft. She was previously convicted in March 2019 and sentenced to 26 months’ jail in the State Courts for stealing items worth more than $34,000 from the household of the former Changi Airport Group (CAG) chair.

In his ruling in early September, Justice Chan Seng Onn found that the Liew family may have had an “improper motive” in filing a police report against Parti. He also highlighted lapses in police procedures, such as a break in the chain of custody, while calling into question the credibility of Karl Liew – Liew Mun Leong’s son – as a prosecution witness.

The case sparked a public uproar, with some alleging that the Liews had been given special treatment thanks to their privileged social status. Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam has pledged that the government will review shortcomings which led to Parti’s criminal prosecution.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) will also study Justice Chan’s judgment, noting that his findings “do raise questions which warrant further investigations”.

Last Thursday, Liew stepped down from his public service and business roles with the CAG, Surbana Jurong, Temasek Foundation, and Temasek International with immediate effect. Liew said the police report against Parti was made in the genuine belief “that if there were suspicions of wrongdoing, it is our civic duty to report the matter to the police and let the authorities investigate accordingly”.

An adjournment motion involves an MP claiming the right to raise additional matters of public concern after a call to end a parliamentary sitting is raised.

This right to raise matters is allotted to one MP per sitting. Should there be more than one MP claiming the right, the motion will be decided by ballot.

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