Workers’ Party invites public to send feedback about Singapore’s justice system which is to be debated in Parliament on Wednesday

The Workers’ Party (WP) took to its Facebook page on Saturday (31 October) to invite the public to send their feedback and suggestions about WP’s full motion on “Singapore’s Justice System and enhancing Justice for All” which will be debated in Wednesday’s Parliament sitting.

“Parti Liyani’s case showed us that barriers to justice exist. On Wednesday, we seek Justice for All in Parliament,” the WP said.

The WP thus invited the member of public to send in their thoughts on the related issue via email at [email protected].

Earlier on 21 October, WP said in its statement that its chairperson and the Aljunied GRC Member of Parliament (MP) Sylvia Lim has filed a full motion in Parliament on issues related to former domestic worker Ms Parti’s case such as access to justice for all.

The statement noted that the motion “calls on the government to recognize and remedy its shortcomings in order to enhance justice for all, regardless of means or social status”, including a suggestion to review the justice system.

Beyond Ms Parti’s case, according to WP, this motion also seeks to address the broader issue of justice for all.

“We should better understand and address challenges faced by the disadvantaged in navigating the criminal justice system. We must ensure the same mistake are not made again,” it stated.

The motion filed by Ms Lim was supported by Sengkang GRC MP and fellow WP member He Ting Ru and would allow any and all MPs to join the debate on the motion in Parliament.

Previously, Ms Lim decided not to re-file the adjournment motion she filed in September on Ms Parti’s case and will instead raise the relevant issues after Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam delivers his ministerial statement in the House in November.

“Appreciating the premium on Parliament’s time, WP will coincide its contribution to the debate with the Ministerial Statement as far as practicable. WP Chair MP Sylvia Lim will therefore not seek any further ballot in October of the adjournment motion filed by her,” said WP in a statement on 2 October.

This followed after an earlier adjournment motion filed by Ms Lim was not selected in a ballot among four other motions put forth by other MPs given that People’s Action Party (PAP) MP Louis Ng’s motion on secondhand smoke was selected instead.

The three other adjournment motions comprised PAP MP Denise Phua’s motion on working towards the full participation of persons with disabilities in Singapore society, PAP MP Carrie Tan’s motion to increase support for the sustenance of livelihoods amongst performing arts workers, and PAP MP Wan Rizal’s motion on eradicating mental health stigmatisation.

Background of Parti Liyani’s case

Ms Parti was convicted in March last year of stealing items belonging to former Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong and his family — his son Mr Karl in particular.

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.

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 Ms Parti’s lawyer, Anil Balchandani had successfully disproved in the State Courts hearing.

The prosecution originally sought a three-year jail sentence.

Justice Chan Seng Onn of the High Court on 4 September this year overturned the conviction and 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.

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