by Teo Soh Lung
I was watching CNA News last night when Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam made a strange remark which appear to me to be a veiled threat.
The Minister was asked by Leader of the Opposition (LO) Pritam Singh about Ms Parti Liyani’s complaint of 3 July – which was republished by HOME yesterday (4 Nov).
One of the areas of complaint was this:
“In Court, there was possible tampering with evidence in an attempt to cast me as being untruthful to the Court. During my cross-examination, when the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) asked the police officer to hand me the Gerald Genta watch, my lawyer observed that the police officer started shaking the watch while it was in his hand.
“I was then asked if the watch was working. At that point, and as the watch was passed around the Courtroom, its hands were moving. But during re-examination when my lawyer specifically asked the police officer not to shake the watch, the watch hands did not move at all.”
Instead of answering Mr Singh (which I believe must be about the outcome of the complaint), the Minister said he didn’t understand why the complaint was made, and said something to the effect that it was not made by Ms Liyani.
What does the Minister mean when he said it was not made by Ms Liyani? If his statement meant that someone had assisted her in drafting the complaint, is that illegal or improper? If his intent is to hint that he knows who helped Ms Liyani draft the complaint, then I think it is most improper to use Parliament in this manner.
I sat up when I heard his remark. It appeared to me that he was making a veiled threat to the person who helped draft the complaint.
The Minister should get on with his job. It is a privilege to speak in Parliament, and he should not use this privilege to accuse or rebuke people who have no opportunity to respond to his allegations.
I was not in Parliament to watch the debates, and I may be wrong to arrive at this conclusion. But I hope the AGC/Police investigation report did address Ms Liyani’s complaint of 3 July 2020.
Tampering with evidence by shaking the watch to make it move is very serious, and I hope this is not true.