Yesterday (8 Sep), responding to questions from the media on Changi Airport Group (CAG) chairman Liew Mun Leong’s involvement in his former domestic worker’s criminal charges, Temasek International CEO Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara defended Liew (‘Temasek: Liew Mun Leong contributed to both public service and private sector in Singapore for the benefit of Singapore‘).
Pillay said, “There are many individuals who have contributed to both public service and to the private sector in Singapore for the benefit of Singapore and our population as a whole. (Mr Liew) is one of those persons, and his track record at CapitaLand, at Changi Airport Group, and at Surbana Jurong attest to that.”
He was asked if Liew’s actions go against Temasek’s values and whether it would be looking into the issue, since CAG is a wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek.
Pillay replied that he would not comment further, citing ongoing proceedings on the case. However, he did add, “I think we should hear from Mr Liew on his side of the issue, and not come quick to judgment until we’ve heard all sides of things.”
The media in fact, did approach Liew earlier after the acquittal of his former domestic worker at the end of the trial but Liew declined to talk.
High Court acquits Liew’s former domestic worker
Last Friday (4 Sep), the High Court ruled to acquit Liew’s former domestic worker, Ms Parti Liyani, of the four theft-related charges which she was previously found guilty of, by District Judge Olivia Low last year. Yesterday, Ms Parti was also acquitted of the fifth charge after the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) decided to withdraw the charge, which amounts to full acquittal.
High Court judge, Justice Chan Seng Onn, overruled the District Judge and commented about the possible motive by Liew and his family in regards to the filing of the police report in 2016 that led to Ms Parti’s arrest.
Noting that Ms Parti had threatened to file a complaint to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for illegal deployment by Liew and his family, Justice Chan wrote in his judgement:
“Given the seriousness of the consequences that might follow from what Parti said she would do, I have reason to believe that the Liew family would be very concerned that Parti would carry out her threat to report the matter to MOM. On the totality of the evidence, I find that the Prosecution has failed to dispel the reasonable doubt raised by the Defence and show that there was no improper motive by Mr Liew and Karl in making the police report.”
Justice Chan also concluded:
“In the above circumstances, I allow Parti’s appeal against all four charges against her. I first observe that in the present case, which involved a voluminous number of items, the proper handling of the evidence by the police and recording of the allegedly stolen items is crucial in order to preserve the chain of custody of the items. Coupled with the existence of an improper motive by members of the Liew family for mounting the allegations against Parti, I find that the convictions against Parti are unsafe and accordingly acquit her of all the charges.”
Pillay used to work with Alvin Yeo in Wong Partnership LLP
According to a Temasek’s press release last year, Pillay joined Temasek in 2010.
Since joining Temasek, he has held various roles, including Head of Investment, Portfolio Management, and Enterprise Development Groups inside Temasek. He is also said to have played an instrumental role in setting up Heliconia Capital and Clifford Capital.
He is also a member of the Future Economy Council and sits on the Financial Centre Advisory Panel of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the boards of the National Research Foundation (NRF) and Enterprise Singapore.
Last year, Pillay was promoted to become CEO of Temasek International, the wholly owned management and investment arm of Temasek Holdings.
At the time of his promotion, he praised PM Lee’s wife Ho Ching, “I am fortunate that we have a team in Temasek with a strong sense of purpose and a commitment to integrity and excellence. These are built on the foundation laid by many generations of dedicated staff, including Ho Ching and Theng Kiat.”