Parti Liyani, a former domestic worker who was acquitted of four theft charges by the High Court in September, had filed a complaint on 3 July against a number of officers at Tanglin Police Division over their conduct in handling the investigations and trial against her.
In a statement published on Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) on Wednesday (4 Nov), Ms Parti requested that the Singapore Police Force Internal Affairs Office conduct an inquiry on these officers based on their conduct against her.
This complaint by Ms Parti is an addition to another complaint filed by her to seek disciplinary proceedings against the prosecutors who dealt with her case.
However, it seems that Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam does not think Ms Parti is responsible behind the said complaint.
Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Shanmugam claimed that Ms Parti “is not doing this” filing of complaint.
The Minister argued that the fact the investigating officer (IO) had waited five weeks to act on the case does not warrant a police report to be made by the victim.
“We know why this is being done. But, [the] Police will deal with it, and will respond in due course,” he asserted.
“I’m not suggesting that anybody in this House is responsible for it.”
Mr Shanmugam was responding to clarifications sought by Leader of the Opposition (LO) Pritam Singh on his earlier ministerial statement about the review of Ms Parti’s case.
Mr Singh had put a question to the Minister about the findings of the investigations into the conduct of the police officers involved in Ms Parti’s case.
“I would like to enquire whether those investigations have been completed; and if they have been completed, can Minister share what have been the Police’s findings?” he enquired.
Manpower issue cannot be an excuse for lapses in police investigations, says Law and Home Affairs Minister
Mr Singh had also asked about Mr Shanmugam’s comments on the five-week lapse in the investigation.
“I think from the public perspective, there is a concern when investigation for whatever purposes are somewhat not conducted or – what the Minister said – ‘in breach of police requirements’. So, my question is what is the extent of this issue?” he questioned.
According to Mr Singh, Mr Shanmugam had earlier alluded to “manpower problems” as part of the issue.
“Moving forward, how significant does the Minister assess this matter to be? Can it be a matter that can be resolved by directive or circulars from the commanding officers from various divisions?” he further enquired.
In response, Mr Shanmugam reiterated that “manpower issue cannot be an excuse” for lapses in police investigations.
The Minister stressed that the conduct of the police officers in Ms Parti’s case is a breach of police rules and the law, adding that disciplinarily action is being taken.
“If the rules allow this, I will find out about the details of what happened, and I’m happy to share it with Mr Singh when it eventually is dealt with,” he added.
“In this case, it is not being treated as a precedence.”
Mr Shanmugam went on to say that he had asked for a review to get a “better sense” of the pressure faced by police officers, particularly due to lack of manpower resources.