The recent saga surrounding Changi Airport Group (CAG) Chairman Liew Mun Leong and his family’s former domestic worker Parti Liyani has garnered criticism on social media, with many netizens condemning Liew family and asking Mr Liew to step down from his chairman position.
This came after the High Court decided to acquit Ms Parti of the four theft-related charges which she was previously found guilty in the State Courts of stealing over S$34,000 worth of items that allegedly belong to Mr Liew and his family.
Ms Parti was the ex-domestic helper of Mr Liew and his family, and had worked for them for eight years. She was arrested in December 2016 after returning to Singapore as there was a warrant out for her arrest after Mr Liew accused her to have stolen items from him and his family members.
Justice Chan Seng Onn, in allowing Ms Parti’s appeal against her conviction and jail sentence of 26 months, branded the Liew family as having “improper motives” against Ms Parti.
In the High Court judgement, Justice Chan 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.”
The judge also noted that there was reason to believe that the Liew family took the pre-emptive step to abruptly terminate Ms Parti’s employment and without giving her sufficient time to pack, so that she would not use the time to make a complaint to Ministry of Manpower about her illegal deployment to work for Mr Liew’s son, Karl Liew.
On Tuesday (7 September), Ms Parti was cleared of the fifth charge for fraudulent possession of property at the State Courts, after prosecutors applied for the charge to be withdrawn.
Public reaction about the case
The case had also sparked public outcry, with some questioning if the class and status differences between Parti and Mr Liew and his family had led to unfairness in the judicial process.
Other than being the chairman of Changi Airport Group, Mr Liew is also the Chairman of Surbana Jurong and was the founding Chief Executive Officer of CapitaLand Group.
While on the Facebook page of Changi Airport, it can be seen that many netizens have flocked to the comment sections with angry comments, describing Mr Liew as a “disgrace” of the Company while asking him to step down from chairman position
The netizens pointed out that Mr Liew should hold responsible for his “disgraced behaviour” and demanded an answer for his action.
Meanwhile a handful of netizens also mocked the Group, insinuating that the visitors might be accused for theft if they visit the airport.