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Review of Parti Liyani v Public Prosecutor (2020): Police and AGC Handled It Like Any Theft Case; No Improper Influence
Minister K Shanmugam: There was no improper influence in the case of Liew Mun Leong’s ex-maid Parti Liyani.

Home Team News MS2020 01D
GRAPHICS: Home Team News

On 4 November 2020, Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, delivered a Ministerial Statement on the review of the case of Parti Liyani v Public Prosecutor (2020).

For over three hours, he explained the case and the findings of the review (Part 1); affirmed the Government’s commitment to upholding the Rule of Law (Part 2); and addressed a range of questions about the case from Members of Parliament (Part 3). In short, Minister Shanmugam made four key points:

1. There were Good Reasons to Investigate and Prosecute Ms Liyani
Noting the inconsistencies in many of Ms Liyani’s statements and her admission to taking some items of male clothing without permission. Minister Shanmugam told Parliament that the Police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) had good reasons for proceeding with the case.

Ministerial Statement (Part 1, paragraphs 37–47)

Ministerial Statement (Part 1, paragraphs 18–19) 

Ministerial Statement (Part 1, paragraphs 166–169) 

2. The Conduct of the Liews was “Cavalier”
There were aspects of Mr Karl Liew’s conduct and evidence during the trial that were unsatisfactory and raised skepticism. Minister Shanmugam said, “The impression one gets is that there seems to have been a cavalier attitude on the part of the Liews, in the way some items were identified as belonging to them, and in the way values were ascribed to some items.”

Ministerial Statement (Part 1, paragraphs 170–171) 

Ministerial Statement (Part 1, paragraphs 144–158)

Mr Karl Liew was investigated for furnishing false information and for giving false evidence. He was charged on 5 November 2020.

3. The Police and AGC Were Not Influenced by Anyone
Addressing the central question of whether the case had been investigated and prosecuted in accordance with the rules, Minister Shanmugam said, “I have said it earlier and I will reiterate. I can be categorical. There was no influence by Liew Mun Leong. It was treated as any other theft case and handled accordingly.”

Ministerial Statement (Part 2, paragraphs 1–3)

4. The Government is Committed to Upholding the Rule of Law
The case served to affirm how the Rule of Law applies in Singapore. Minister Shanmugam said, “A Foreign Domestic Worker is charged. The High Court acquits her. The Complainant is a wealthy, powerful person. But all are equal before the Law. It doesn’t matter who the parties are. Justice according to the facts and the Law as the Courts see it.”

Warning against the threat posed by soft corruption and influence peddling, Minister Shanmugam said it was vital for the Government to continue maintaining high standards of probity and conduct: “There has be a ruthless intensity in upholding integrity.”

Ministerial Statement (Part 2, paragraphs 11–21) 

Ministerial Statement (Part 2, paragraphs 46–49)

Questions from Members of Parliament
Minister Shanmugam also addressed a range of questions about the case from Members of Parliament. Mr Xie Yao Quan asked if Ms Liyani was, in fact, guilty. Minister Shanmugam clarified that Ms Liyani was acquitted by the High Court and that the Government would proceed on that basis.

Ms Sylvia Lim asked Minister Shanmugam for his views on the High Court’s decision to clear Ms Liyani. Minister Shanmugam explained that the Government only reviewed and investigated Ms Liyani’s case due to the High Court’s judgment, and that the High Court had made its judgment based on the evidence and statements presented to it during the trial.

Mr Leong Mun Wai asked Minister Shanmugam whether he would appoint a Committee of Inquiry (COI) to conduct a public inquiry into the conduct of the Police and AGC. Minister Shanmugam said that he was prepared to call for a Committee or Commission of Inquiry if there were good reasons to do so, but there were no specific reasons given by Mr Leong that warranted one. Mr Leong subsequently withdrew the proposal.

Read the Ministerial Statement on the Review of the Case of Parti Liyani v Public Prosecutor (2020): Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Watch videos of the Ministerial Statement.
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Home Team News
  2. 04 November 2020
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