It was reported in the media today that the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), the police and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) are all now looking into the case of Ms Parti Liyani, the maid acquitted by High Court of stealing from Changi Airport Group (CAG) chairman Liew Mun Leong and his family (‘Agencies looking into issues judge raised in case of ex-maid acquitted of stealing from CAG chief‘).
High Court judge, Justice Chan Seng Onn, has over-ruled the earlier judgement from District Judge Olivia Low who convicted Ms Parti of four counts of theft and sentenced her to two years and two months’ jail last March. The maid was charged with stealing about $34,000 worth of items from Liew’s home.
Justice Chan cited the handling of the evidence by the police, the recording of the allegedly stolen items and the improper motive behind the allegations of Liew and his family members. Ms Parti appealed to the High Court and was acquitted by Justice Chan last Friday (4 Sep).
In a statement yesterday (6 Sep), the AGC said that it will assess what further action, if any, to be taken, in light of Justice Chan’s ruling. MOM also said it is in consultation with the AGC to determine its next course of action, if any. Meanwhile, the police too, said that they would be looking into Justice Chan’s doubts on some of the police investigations into Ms Parti case.
During her employment with the Liews, Ms Parti was tasked to clean additional places, the house and office of Liew’s son in addition to Liew’s home. This is something prohibited by MOM. “There is reason to believe that the Liew family, upon realising her unhappiness, took the pre-emptive first step to terminate her employment suddenly without giving her sufficient time for her to pack, in the hope that Parti would not use the time to make a complaint to MOM,” Justice Chan said.
He also found that when Ms Parti threatened to complain to MOM after she was summarily terminated, Liew and his son filed a police report with the intention to prevent her from returning to Singapore to make the complaint. Justice Chan did not believe the evidence presented from Liew and his family members on various issues.
More importantly, Justice Chan had observed that there was a break in the chain of custody of evidence by the police. This created a reasonable doubt as to whether some of the allegedly stolen items discovered by Liew and his family members, were credible.
Before the police were able to accurately photographed the evidence, Liew’s family was told by the police that they were free to use the items. They took and put back items into the boxes, but it was not clear if the items that were put back were the same ones removed earlier. Furthermore, Justice Chan also found that two statements were taken from Ms Parti without an interpreter.
Meritorious Service Medal winner
According to information from Prime Minister’s Office website, Liew was awarded the “Meritorious Service Medal” in 2011 for his contribution to the Changi Airport Group as Chairman.
The Meritorious Service Medal was instituted in 1962. According to PMO website, it is awarded to any person who has performed within Singapore, service of conspicuous merit characterised by resource and devotion to duty, including long service marked by exceptional ability, merit and exemplary conduct. It is usually given out by the President.
The Medal is silver-gilt having, on the obverse side, a rhomboid artifice superimposed upon a multi-perforated base. In the centre of the artifice is a shield bearing a crescent and 5 stars and below it a scroll with the inscription “PINGAT JASA GEMILANG”. The reverse side of the Medal bears the State Arms.
In any case, when contacted by the media over Ms Parti case, Liew declined to speak.