Opposition wants to debate Parti Liyani case, Singapore justice in Parliament

Sylvia Lim. Photo: Workers’ Party/Facebook
Sylvia Lim. Photo: Workers’ Party/Facebook

Singapore’s largest opposition party announced today it will take up debate surrounding Indonesian helper Parti Liyani and her former boss Liew Mun Leong in next month’s Parliament sitting. 

Just days after Progress Singapore’s Tan Cheng Bock called for a credible and independent review of the legal case that ended with Liyani’s theft conviction overturned, the Workers’ Party said chairperson Sylvia Lim has moved to discuss the “deeper issues” of the case which has raised questions about equal treatment under Singapore’s laws.

“The intention is to discuss aspects of the criminal justice system and the challenges faced by persons of less means in navigating it. Specific suggestions to improve the system will be made,” the party announced.

The next parliamentary sitting is expected to take place next month. According to a parliamentary notice posted today, the party’s motion is subject to a ballot.

The domestic helper was acquitted of all four counts of theft involving S$34,000 worth of items after the high court judge ruled that Liew and his family had ulterior motives while also noting the mishandling of evidence.

Liew has since resigned from Changi Airport’s board along with other high status roles, but says he stands by the complaint he filed against Liyani four years ago. 

Liyani was defended pro-bono by lawyer Anil Balchandani, who was assisted by volunteers and members of the nonprofit Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics. 

Authorities including the Attorney-General’s Chambers have said that they are reviewing the case following the high court’s judgment to see whether further actions need to be taken. Business ties between top prosecutor, Attorney-General Lucien Wong and Liew may color the credibility of their outcome.

Tan on Monday called for an independent probe, saying the Ministry of Manpower and Home Affairs as well as the public prosecutors lacked the objectivity to review what amounts to internal affairs.

Wong has “recused” himself from his office’s review, which is being led by deputy attorney general Hri Kumar Nair, a member of Parliament under the ruling People’s Action Party from 2006 to 2015. 

Other stories:

Progress Singapore’s Tan Cheng Bock calls for credible review of Liyani case, says Singapore ‘waiting for good answers’

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