by Yoong Siew Wah
It is not surprising that the saga of Changi Airport Group Chairman Liew Mun Leong has attracted such prominent attraction not only in Singapore but maybe outside. This is no doubt one of the most iniquitious injustices that could be imposed on a defenceless Indonesian maid who had given eight years of conscientious service to the Liew family.
The process of the police investigations and the District Court judgement for the alleged theft by this unfortunate victim were so full of unimaginables and unconventionals that they boggle the common mind of the people completely.
It was by the grace of God (or Allah in this case) that the appeal was heard by such a courageus and perceptive High Court Judge as Justice Chan Seng Onn who minced no words in his highly critical judgement of the judicial proceedings of the district court and his unbridled contempt of the iniquitious conduct of Liew Mun Leong and his son Karl Liew in trumping up theft charges against the defenceless maid.
Justice Chan laid bare the inexcusable inadequacies of the police investigations under the direction of the Attorney-General Department and the unbelievable blunder of the District Judge in convicting the accused on the questionable evidence before her.
With her experience she should have been more alert to the misdirection led by the blinkered Deputy Public Prosecutors. She was not able to perceive the improper motive of Liew Mun Leong in victimising the maid as pointed out by Justice Chan. His son Karl was chastised by another Justice as being dishonest and deceitful.
The denunciation by Justice Chan has put the Attorney General’s Chambers and the government in an uncomplimentary light before the public. The AGC has indicated that he will study the judgement and will see what further action to take.
Needless to say that his first action should be to look into the improper motive of Liew Mun Leong and to see that justice is done to redeem the injustice he had engineered against the maid. The AG may balk because of the stature and reputation of Liew Mun Leong. He may cringe when confronted with Liew’s political connections.
It all depends on whether he has the conviction and sincerity to see that justice is done. It will give the wrong signal if nothing is done to people like Liew and others like him to commit injustice on innocent individuals.
In conclusion I think a word of praise and gratitude should be given to the wonderful defence counsel Anil Balchandani for his magnificent act in defending the maid pro bono in her time of adversity and made such a consummate success of it. Let’s hope that the maid Parti Liyani will be able to obtain adequate compensation from Liew Mun Leong for her suffering.