SINGAPORE – The high-profile case of former domestic worker Parti Liyani looks set to dominate the debate when Parliament sits on Monday (Oct 5), as MPs have filed 14 questions on the issue.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat will also deliver a ministerial statement on the Government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus, according to the agenda set in the Order Paper issued by the Clerk of Parliament on Friday (Oct 2).
The questions on the criminal case of Ms Parti, 46, who was acquitted on appeal, came from both sides of the House.
They include: what went wrong in the investigations, would the Government consider letting foreign domestic workers to be accompanied by non-legal personnel for police interviews, and if the Government could provide direct legal aid to vulnerable persons who are charged with criminal offences.
Ms Parti had been accused by the family of prominent business chief Liew Mun Leong of stealing items worth a total $34,000.
The case sparked an uproar after a High Court judge found, on appeal, that her conviction by the trial judge to be “unsafe” for various reasons.
It led to questions being raised about the criminal justice system’s treatment of people who are less well-off.
Internal reviews are also being conducted by the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the police, while Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam has said he will make a ministerial statement in Parliament next month.
Meanwhile, the question Mr Murali Pillai (Bukit Batok) has asked for Monday’s sitting is what steps will be taken by the different agencies to identify the issues identified in the case, and how these issues will be addressed in future.
“We must take all necessary steps to maintain a high standard of probity and competence in the administration of justice in Singapore that enjoys the confidence of fellow Singaporeans,” Mr Murali, who is the chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Home Affairs and Law, told The Straits Times on Friday.
Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai wants to know if a committee of inquiry with people not affiliated to the Government could be appointed to look into the conduct of the police and prosecutors.
As for the Covid-19 pandemic, Ms Jessica Tan (East Coast GRC) asked that with the low number of community cases, when can Covid-19 measures be further eased and what can be expected.
Workers’ Party MP Louis Chua (Sengkang GRC) asked, among other things, about the Government’s review of work-from-home arrangements.
Some MPs have asked about the next-generation electronic road pricing system that will be introduced next year.
The GPC chairman for transport, Mr Saktiandi Supaat (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC), wants to know what steps the authorities will take to avoid long queues for the installation of the new ERP device, and whether motorists have to pay to replace then should they get spoilt.
Five Bills will be debated and four new Bills will be tabled, including the Personal Data Protection (Amendment) Bill that will impose stiffer fines on private organisations for data breach.