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Sylvia Lim will not seek further ballot for adjournment motion on Parti Liyani case: Workers' Party

Sylvia Lim will not seek further ballot for adjournment motion on Parti Liyani case: Workers' Party

Parti Liyani with her lawyer Anil Balchandani outside of the State Courts on Sep 8, 2020. (Photo: Hanidah Amin)

SINGAPORE: Workers' Party (WP) chair and Aljunied Member of Parliament (MP) Sylvia Lim will not seek any further ballot of the adjournment motion she filed to speak about issues raised by the recent acquittal of former maid Parti Liyani when Parliament sits in October.

Instead, WP will "coincide its contribution" to the debate with the ministerial statement to be made by Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam in Parliament in November, the party said on Friday (Oct 3).

"Appreciating the premium on Parliament's time, WP will coincide its contribution to the debate with the ministerial statement as far as practicable," the party said in a statement posted on Facebook.

"WP Chair MP Sylvia Lim will therefore not seek any further ballot in October of the adjournment motion filed by her," the party said.

Ms Lim's motion to speak about enhancing equity in the criminal justice system was not selected in a random ballot held on Tuesday.

Earlier on Friday, Mr Shanmugam said he would make a ministerial statement in Parliament next month to address questions raised about Ms Parti's case.

Mr Shanmugam said he would speak in Parliament after the reviews by the police and the Attorney-General's Chambers – expected to conclude in "two to three weeks' time" – have been completed.

READ: Parti Liyani case – Shanmugam says 'something has gone wrong' in chain of events, urges people not to 'prejudge' review

On Friday, WP noted that internal reviews "into the handling of Ms Parti Liyani's case still require a few more weeks to conclude".

While the reviews are ongoing, the case has highlighted "wider questions" about the criminal justice system, said the party. That includes "appropriate approaches to take to diagnose and respond to any shortcomings".

"The strong public interest in the case, and in the underlying issue of access to justice for all, bodes well for a critical public discussion on how the poor and disadvantaged can adequately navigate the criminal justice system," said WP.

READ: Timeline – How former maid Parti Liyani was acquitted of stealing from Changi Airport Group chairman's family

Ms Parti, who worked as a maid for former chairman of Changi Airport Group Liew Mun Leong, was convicted in March 2019 by a lower court of stealing S$34,000 worth of items from Mr Liew and his family. 

A High Court judge cleared Ms Parti of all charges last month, outlining several issues with the conviction findings and how the case was handled.

Ms Parti has applied via her lawyer Anil Balchandani for a disciplinary tribunal to be set up. She is accusing Deputy Public Prosecutors Tan Yanying and Tan Wee Hao of misconduct in handling her trial.

READ: Parti Liyani's case against prosecutors adjourned while she decides if she wants to drop it

On Thursday, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon granted Ms Parti two weeks to reconsider her application for the investigation into alleged misconduct by the two prosecutors, after she expressed some doubts about pursuing it.

Ms Parti wanted to be able to return home to Indonesia "as soon as conveniently possible", and initially considered withdrawing her application to investigate the prosecutors' conduct. 

However, she "evidently also believes that the DPPs should answer the allegations she has raised in her affidavit and is altogether somewhat torn between the various competing considerations", said the Chief Justice in explaining his decision to adjourn the case.

Source: CNA/dv(ac)

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