Former Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong’s family seemed to have shown a “cavalier attitude” in making a police report against his former domestic worker Parti Liyani, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam.
Delivering his ministerial statement on Ms Parti’s case in Parliament on Wednesday (4 November), Mr Shanmugam said that such an attitude can be observed “in the way some items were identified as belonging to them, and in the way values were ascribed to some items”.
He highlighted that Mr Liew’s son Karl Liew, in particular, appeared to not be a credible witness and had given “inconsistent answers” in some instances.
“There are many aspects of Karl’s conduct and evidence … which are highly unsatisfactory, which raise scepticism, based on what he said at the trial,” he said.
Referencing the High Court’s observation on Mr Karl’s account of some of the allegedly stolen items such as a pink knife and and an IKEA bedsheet which he claimed to have bought at Habitat in the UK, Mr Shanmugam said: “The High Court said this affected Karl’s credibility and his claim to ownership.”
The testimony of one of the Liews, he added, was also “at variance” or at odds with the evidence given by another Liew.
Mr Shanmugam also noted that the defence had also placed in articles on dumpster diving to suggest that certain expensive items such as branded handbags and jewellery are binned in Singapore.
“The argument is that Ms Liyani could have found, for example, the Prada bag and jewellery which (Mr Liew’s daughter) May says were hers, in the trash,” he added.
Mr Shanmugam told the House that investigations into whether Mr Karl had committed perjury or any criminal offence have been completed and that a statement on the outcome will be made later.
At the appeal hearing, the defence highlighted that Mr Karl’s testimony on the alleged stolen items were in contrast to what was heard in a video played in court of a conversation between him and his mother Ng Lai Peng, aka Mrs Liew.
Mrs Liew was heard making a remark on how “the karang guni man” had helped her to move the items in the boxes.
Mr Karl was also heard saying to Mrs Liew that she “cannot get the karang guni man” to the house as it is “still her things”.
This particular point was also noted by Justice Chan Seng Onn in his High Court judgement in September this year, which overturned District Judge Olivia Low’s conviction and sentencing of Ms Parti.
“As captured in the Video, Mdm Ng’s initial reaction was not to salvage the items but to engage the help of the karang guni man to remove the items,” Justice Chan remarked.
He added that if the clothing items were stolen from Mr Karl, it would be expected for Mr Karl “to have claimed that they were his clothes” instead of stating that the items could not be moved because they were indeed Ms Parti’s items.