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'I don't wish my situation to be a distraction': Liew Mun Leong retires from all public service, business roles

SINGAPORE — Breaking his silence after intense public scrutiny of the court case surrounding his former domestic worker, Changi Airport Group’s beleaguered chairman Liew Mun Leong announced on Thursday (Sept 10) that he will be retiring from the various public service and business roles he holds with immediate effect.

In his statement to the media, Mr Liew Mun Leong said that he has decided to bring forward his retirement from Changi Airport Group, Surbana Jurong, Temasek Foundation and Temasek International after “much deliberation”.

In his statement to the media, Mr Liew Mun Leong said that he has decided to bring forward his retirement from Changi Airport Group, Surbana Jurong, Temasek Foundation and Temasek International after “much deliberation”.

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  • Mr Liew Mun Leong brought forward his retirement from Changi Airport Group, Surbana Jurong, Temasek Foundation, and Temasek International after much deliberation 
  • He said that he did not wish for his situation involving his former domestic worker Parti Liyani to be a distraction to the organisations
  • He also said that he respects the High Court's decision and has faith in Singapore's legal system

 

SINGAPORE — Breaking his silence after intense public scrutiny of the court case surrounding his former domestic worker, Changi Airport Group’s beleaguered chairman Liew Mun Leong announced on Thursday (Sept 10) that he will be retiring from the various public service and business roles he holds with immediate effect.

In his statement to the media, the 74-year-old said that he has decided to bring forward his retirement from Changi Airport Group (CAG), Surbana Jurong, Temasek Foundation and Temasek International after “much deliberation”.

“Those who know me, will know I am passionate about the roles and missions of these organisations,” he said. “I do not wish my current situation to be a distraction to their respective boards, management and staff, amid their many critical priorities.”

He added: “Should it be required, I stand ready to assist or advise (without compensation), in any way appropriate, especially given the ongoing challenges posed by Covid-19.”

Mr Liew was a senior international adviser for state investor Temasek Holdings, was chief executive officer of real estate developer CapitaLand before becoming chairman of CAG and infrastructure consultancy Surbana Jurong.

He and his family have come under the spotlight after their former domestic worker, Ms Parti Liyani, was acquitted of stealing S$34,000 worth of items from them. The case against the 46-year-old Indonesian concluded in court on Tuesday, when she was given a discharge amounting to an acquittal on her last outstanding charge.

Ms Parti was acquitted last week of her other charges, after the High Court overturned an earlier conviction that saw her being sentenced to two years and two months’ jail. Mr Liew had not addressed the matter publicly for a week since then, as criticisms swirled on social media over how his family made Ms Parti work illegally at more than one household, among other things.

In acquitting Ms Parti, Justice Chan Seng Onn found that there was “ample basis” for her to make a complaint to the authorities about being made to work illegally at the home and office of Mr Liew’s son. As the consequences of the complaint would be serious, the judge said he believed that the Liews thus had an “improper motive” in mounting the allegations of theft against her.

Justice Chan's findings prompted the Attorney-General’s Chambers to review the case to see if any further action should be taken. The Ministry of Manpower and the police also said that they would review how the case was handled.

On Tuesday, Mr Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, chief executive officer of Temasek International, had urged the public not to be too quick to judge and to hear Mr Liew’s side of the case. He also said that Mr Liew was one of many people who have contributed to Singapore’s public and private sectors, with his track record to show in the various positions he has held.

In his statement on Thursday, Mr Liew said that when his family discovered some of their belongings in the boxes Ms Parti intended to ship back to Indonesia, he proceeded to make a police report the same afternoon he returned from overseas.

“I genuinely believed that if there were suspicions of wrongdoing, it is our civic duty to report the matter to the police and let the authorities investigate accordingly,” he said.

Ms Parti was then investigated by the police, arrested and charged by the public prosecutor, Mr Liew said.

He added that throughout the investigations and the trial, he and his family had “cooperated fully with the police” and gave statements and evidence when required.

“The High Court has made its decision. I have faith in our legal system and respect the decision of the High Court.

“I understand that both the Attorney’s General Chambers and the police are now conducting reviews of the matter. Should it be required, my family and I will continue to provide full cooperation to both AGC and the police.”

In follow-up statements on Thursday evening, the Ministry of Finance and CAG announced that CAG director Tan Gee Paw will be its acting chairman, as they thanked Mr Liew for his contributions over the years to the company.  

Related topics

Liew Mun Leong Parti Liyani domestic helper Changi Airport Group Temasek Foundation Surbana Jurong

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