After a few days of intense public anger, it seems that Liew Mun Leong has announced that he will be retiring from his public service and business roles at Changi Airport Group, Surbana Jurong, Temasek Foundation, and Temasek International.
He said : “After much deliberation, I have decided to bring forward my retirement from the various public service and business roles with Changi Airport Group, Surbana Jurong, Temasek Foundation, and Temasek International with immediate effect.”
While this is a step in the direction, should he have been given the opportunity to gracefully resign? Shouldn’t he have been suspended shortly after the judgement of the High Court came out?
The High Court judgement stated that Liew had “improper motives”. In other words, he may have fabricated evidence. This is a very serious matter as Liew could well be guilty of perjury!
Not only did none of these companies stand in solidarity with the person who has been harmed — in this case his former domestic worker Parti Liyani, who has already suffered a few years in limbo without earning an income, Temasek even had the temerity to defend him! What kind of moral message does this send out?
That it is okay to victimise your domestic worker of nine years if you are rich and powerful? That it is okay to be dishonest if you have contributed to the coffers of the companies you worked for?
Among other things, Chief Executive of Temasek International, the wholly-owned management and investment arm of Singapore investment firm Temasek Holdings, Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara (Dilhan) 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. (Liew) is one of those persons, and his track record at CapitaLand, at Changi Airport Group, and at Surbana Jurong attest to that.”
With his line of logic, does it mean that financier Jeffrey Epstein should be exonerated because he had donated to charity and contributed to the economy? Surely not!
The entitlement and detachment from reality displayed by Dilhan as a representative of Temasek is shockingly scary!
Given Temasek’s defence of Liew earlier, one question must be asked – Would Liew have retired early if the public had not been so forthright with their righteous anger, flooding the pages of these companies with demands that Liew be sacked?
If Liew had framed Parti causing her to lose four years of her life and her income, he cannot be allowed to just retire into the sunset. As Lim Tean of the Peoples’ Voice Party said on a Facebook video, police and court resources have been utilised for this matter. These resources are funded by the public purse. If Liew had knowingly framed Parti, then he would have misused state resources to pursue a personal vendetta.
Given the potential failings of the the various state agencies (namely the Singapore Police Force) and the lower courts, in line with the potential conflicts of interests that could arise from the interconnecting web of relationships between the parties involved, shouldn’t a Committee of Inquiry (COI) be called?
The President is meant to be non partisan. She has the power to call for a COI. Now is the time to call it. The matter cannot be over just by Liew resigning. Among other things, we have to investigate the Singapore Police Force and get to the bottom of why the evidence was so badly handled. We have to investigate the lower court to have a handle of the lower court judge’s thinking. We have to investigate if Liew had misused state resources to pursue a personal agenda.
We need to get to the bottom of how matters were allowed to get to this stage in the first place! The public are still watching!