The Workers’ Party (WP) chair Sylvia Lim has filed an adjournment motion for the coming Parliamentary sitting next month.
In a statement on Wednesday (16 September), WP said that the motion aims to discuss aspects of Singapore’s criminal justice system with reference to the recent case of former domestic worker Parti Liyani.
The motion filed by the Aljunied GRC will also entail examining challenges faced by underprivileged Singaporeans in navigating their way through the criminal justice system, and subsequently putting forth “specific suggestions” to improve the said system.
The motion, titled “Justice For All: Enhancing Equity in the Criminal Justice System”, was filed on Monday.
Separately last week, Progress Singapore Party chief Tan Cheng Bock on Sunday called for the Government to convene an independent review body to “critically and holistically assess” the authorities’ responses to Ms Parti’s case.
In a Facebook post, Dr Tan said that the body needs to be set up to evaluate the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Attorney-General’s Chambers’ (AGC) version of events and “what went wrong”.
The review body should also then “make recommendations to prevent the same wrongs from re-occurring”, he said.
“Proper accountability demands that we find the root causes for these lapses. Not just whether mistakes were caused by individual human errors.
“We must examine if there are underlying systemic faults – whether there are any failures in safety processes, protocols, checks and balances. If not, we risk repeating the same mistakes again,” he wrote.
Other alternative party figures have also called for the AGC to explain its decision to prosecute Ms Parti, given the kind of evidence that was presented.
Singapore People’s Party’s Khan Osman Sulaiman urged the AGC to “review its decision process to avoid such cases from happening again”.
People’s Voice Party chief Lim Tean called for the issues present in Ms Parti’s case to be debated in Parliament.
Background of the case
Ms Parti was convicted in March last year of stealing items belonging to her former employer — the previous Changi Airport Group (CAG) chairman Liew Mun Leong — and his family, particularly his son Karl Liew.
Ms Parti’s employment was abruptly terminated on 28 Oct 2016.
Mr Liew had asked Mr Karl to oversee Ms Parti’s termination and repatriation process to Indonesia, as the former was abroad at the time.
Prior to being sent back to her home country, Ms Parti was given only three hours to pack her belongings despite having worked for the family for almost nine years.
Mr Liew subsequently reported the purported theft on 30 October the same year after returning to Singapore.
Less than two months later, Ms Parti was arrested at Changi Airport on 2 December upon her return to Singapore.
Ms Parti was charged with stealing items totalling S$50,000.
The amount, however, was reduced to S$34,000 when District Judge Olivia Low removed several items from the charge sheet and reduced the estimated value of certain items, such as knocking down the value of a damaged Gerald Genta watched from S$25,000 to S$10,000.
Judge Low sentenced Ms Parti to two years and two months of jail after removing items from and reducing value on the allegedly stolen items that Mr Anil had successfully disproved in the State Courts hearing.
The prosecution originally sought a three-year jail sentence.
Earlier this month on 4 September, Justice Chan Seng Onn of the High Court overturned the conviction and 26-month jail sentence passed down by Judge Low to Ms Parti last year in the State Courts, effectively clearing the Indonesian national of all charges made against her.
Justice Chan found that Mr Liew and Mr Karl’s actions demonstrated “improper motives” in terminating Ms Parti’s employment and making the police report against her.
He stressed that the prosecution had failed to demonstrate that there was no improper motive by Mr Liew and Mr Karl in making the police report against Ms Parti “just two days” after she made an express threat to alert the Ministry of Manpower about her illegal deployment to the latter’s residence and office.