Minister: Gov Will Look into CAG Chairman Saga & It Shouldn’t be a ‘Witch Hunt’


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In the last few days, Dee Kosh must’ve been happy because everyone’s talking about something else: the CAG Chairman saga. If you’ve been super late to the party, here’s a concise recap of what happened:

Last year, an Indonesian foreign domestic worker was sentenced to 26 months’ jail after she was found guilty of stealing $34,000 worth of items from a family.

And it’s not just any family; it’s the family of Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong.

Last Friday (4 September), the foreign domestic worker, Ms Parti Liyani, was acquitted by a High Court in an appeal.

The family appeared to have made the police report to prevent her from making a complaint to MOM after the son allegedly got her to clean his office—which, by the way, is against the law.

As for the “stolen” items? Well, they appeared to be improper, too: according to Ms Parti, those items were either given to her or discarded items.

Everyone’s mad and talking about it because it looks like a rich and powerful family has just framed an innocent and powerless lady.

And the Law and Home Affairs Minister has spoken, too.

Minister: Gov Will Look into CAG Chairman Saga & It Shouldn’t be a ‘Witch Hunt’

Today (8 September), during a grassroots event, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam spoke about this case.

In case you’re not aware, Ms Parti was charged by the prosecution—in other words, it’s not a civil case but a criminal case. This means the Government, and in this case, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (ACG), is involved.

To give you a simple idea of why Ah Gong is involved, let’s use an example.


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Let’s say Ah Hock wants to sue Ah Lian for breaking his heart. In this case, the Government, which is the AGC, won’t be involved because it’s a civil case between Ah Hock and Ah Lian.

But if Ah Lian uses a knife to stab Ah Hock’s heart to literally steal his heart, then Ah Hock doesn’t need to sue Ah Lian; instead, the AGC will “sue” (the correct term is “charge”) Ah Lian. This is called a “criminal case”.

So, even when Ms Parti is accused of stealing from the Liew family, it’s a criminal case (stealing is against the law) so the AGC is the one that charged her.

The judge is just…someone who decides who wins or loses lah.

So, what did Minister K Shanmugam say?

“We take them (High Court judge’s comments) very seriously. Something has gone wrong in the chain of events. We have to look at that, and deal with what went wrong.”

The appeal was made at the High Court, and Ms Parti’s lawyer has provided very goody evidence and support to show that the Liew family might’ve framed the poor domestic worker.

But he added, “At this point, we shouldn’t prejudge which part of the process went wrong. That’s why reviews are being conducted…In the process, we should not be defensive. It should not be a witch hunt.”

So far, it’s unknown what’s going to happen to the Liew family yet, though I bet all my boss’ assets that Changi Airport Group is now looking for a new chairman.

Minister Shanmugam added, “We have to find out what happened, why it happened and then deal with it. And be accountable. That’s the best way to build trust in public, in the system. To come out in public and say what steps we have taken once the reviews are done.”


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“It is Good to See Justice Served”

One of the reasons why this case has gained so much interest is due to the status gap between the two parties: the powerful just bullied the powerless.

Or maybe not?

Minister Shanmugam said this isn’t “between a very prominent business person and a foreign domestic worker.

“She was charged in a criminal case based on a complaint by the business person.”

Remember the Ah Hock and Ah Lian example mentioned earlier? It technically doesn’t matter who’s richer here; Ah Lian injured Ah Hock so Ah Lian has to be charged.

He added, “I would say, my own view is, looking at the (High Court) judge’s judgment, it is good to see justice delivered.”


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Moral of the story?

It’s a capitalism world, but it’s also a fair world.