In September 2020, Indonesian domestic worker Parti Liyani made headlines after being acquitted by Singapore's High Court of stealing from the family of her former employer, Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong.
The High Court found that Liew had "improper motives" for lodging a police report against Parti, who had worked for the family from 2007 to 2016.
More than four years after her arrest, Parti flew home to Indonesia on Wednesday (Jan. 27) morning.
Flew home after a four-year ordeal
According to a Facebook post by Stephanie Chok, a volunteer with Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) and a member of a team that supported Parti Liyani, Parti flew home to Indonesia on Wednesday morning.
In a photo taken at Changi Airport's departure hall, Parti could be seen accompanied by six friends and supporters, including Chok and Singaporean activist and former executive director of HOME Jolovan Wham.
In her Facebook post, Chok wrote that over the past four years in Singapore, Parti was unable to see her mother, was unable to work because she was on a Special Pass, and lived in a shelter.
Case not over yet
According to Chok, although Parti is returning home, her case has not yet ended.
There will be a compensation hearing possibly in March.
In October 2020, Parti took to the High Court to seek compensation of around S$71,000 from the court for the estimated losses that she suffered.
The amount of S$71,000 was computed based on Parti's salary losses of about S$41,000 for about four years between October 2016 and October 2020, and also included expenses for accommodation incurred by the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME).
In addition, Chok wrote on Facebook, there will be a disciplinary tribunal later in 2021 to investigate two deputy public prosecutors — Tan Wee Hao and Tan Yanying — who Parti says unfairly crossed-examined her during the trial.
Finally, there will also be a disposal inquiry, which Chok said that they just found out about.
The disposal inquiry is apparently because "other interested parties" have laid claims to certain items from the four charge sheets against Parti — a black dress that Liew's son Karl claimed was his, second-hand pots, a used knife, and a pair of chopsticks.
Thus, the inquiry will be for a judge to determine what will happen with these items.
Not the end to criminal justice reform
In her Facebook post, Chok wrote that while some people may see Parti's case as proof that Singapore's justice system "works", she "vehemently disagree[s]".
She cited an Atlantic article by Mychal Denzel Smith, in which he wrote:
"I am incensed by the delusion, so prevalent among the country’s supposedly serious thinkers, that tinkering around the edges of an inherently oppressive institution will lead to freedom."
Chok added that while she is very happy and relieved that Parti is going home to be reunited with her loved ones, there is more to be done.
"But this is not the end of the journey for criminal justice reform, it is the beginning.
If this case has opened the door to greater introspection and meaningful change, we need to jam that door right open and demand, scrutinize, petition, and protest.
We need the space and freedom to speak truth to power, and we need persons in positions of power to be mindful, always, of how they are using/misusing their power."
You can read Chok's full post here:
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Top photo by Grace Baey via Facebook / Stephii Chok.