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Is Parliament the final court of appeal?

Last week, Singaporeans witnessed how our Parliament was used to run down a defenceless Indonesian domestic worker, criticise her lawyer for an alleged technical oversight which resulted in the appeal judge reaching an erroneous conclusion on the motive of Liew Mun Leong when he lodged a police report. Unproven new evidence was revealed.

I suspect it was an attempt to vindicate the judgement of the trial judge and overturn the appeal judge’s decision as well as to clear the name of the Liew family. The Minister naturally denies all these.

One of the new unproven evidence came in the form of the employment agent’s words – that she heard Ms Liyani said she wanted to complain about the short notice for her termination of employment and not her illegal deployment to to work in another household.

The agent said she offered to assist Ms Liyani in lodging the complaint but she declined. The fact that this evidence has not been proven in a court of law did not bother the Minister.

It was not the first time that Minister Shanmugam had tarred the good name of people who have no opportunity to respond in the august chamber. It is also not the first time that the Minister had spoken before the conclusion of pending proceedings, in this case, disciplinary proceedings against public prosecutors and police officers.

Was this an attempt to influence the outcome of such proceedings?

Mr Shanmugam spoke for several hours. He said that disciplinary proceedings had been instituted and asked why NCMP Leong Mun Wai wanted a committee of inquiry and why Ms Liyani or HOME should file a police report. Incidentally the police report of Ms Liyani was made on 3 July, well before the judgment of the High Court was delivered.

The Minister claimed that all the matters in the judgements have been dealt with by those who conducted the inhouse investigation.

To questions raised by Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh on the police report lodged by Ms Liyani or HOME the Minister pretended that he had not read it “very carefully” and conveniently enumerated three issues out of four that were raised in the Ms Liyani’s police report.

The complaint which he conveniently omitted was the allegation that the police officer had vigorously shaken the damaged $25,000 Gerald Genta watch during the trial in order to make its hands move. The intention was to prove to the court that Ms Liyani was lying when she claimed that the watch was not working.

Luckily, her lawyer had observed that the police officer shaking the watch and had requested during re-examination, that the officer refrain from shaking the watch before passing it to the witness. The hands of the watch failed to move.

This evidence clearly showed that the prosecution was all out to employ dishonest means in order to gain a conviction. My question to the Minister is this: Was this incident mentioned in the inhouse investigation? If it was, was the incident part of the disciplinary proceedings that he said was in progress?

The untested new evidence was obviously intended to affirm that all is well within the judicial system and that there is no systemic failures. It was intended to cast Ms Liyani as a thief despite her acquittal by the High Court. It was intended to exonerate the Liews.

It is regrettable that the Government, instead of seizing the opportunity to examine its entire system of justice as exposed by the wrongful conviction of Ms Liyani, had chosen to shut its eyes to injustice and resume as per normal after promising disciplinary proceedings against a few officers and bringing a criminal charge for giving false information against Liew Jr.

It chose to believe that there is no systematic faults in the criminal justice system, no bias, no undue influence but just mistakes made by individual officers. Yes, the Minister did say that it is not too happy with the existing Criminal Legal Aid Scheme which is managed by the Law Society and that he is toying with the idea of a public defender’s office. And yes, it is worried about the shortage of manpower but still the system works and there is no need for an overhaul.

As a member of the public and one who sometimes gets into trouble with the law over non criminal matters, may I suggest that the Minister look into the possibility of decriminalising offences that do no harm to the public but creates some awareness about what is going wrong with our country.

Decriminalising public protests, unlawful assemblies, criminal defamation, and the likes will solve some manpower issues. Indeed, the feedback from officers who investigated my case for Cooling Off Day offences had told me that they very much prefer to investigate real crimes such as murders rather than petty irritations from civil society.

Yes, the more crimes created by Parliament, the less time the police officers will have for investigation of real crimes.

 

Teo Soh Lung

 

 

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16 Responses to “Is Parliament the final court of appeal?”

  • xoxo:

    Why nitpick on trivialities when the ISSUE OF UNLAWFUL DEPLOYMENT should be the crux of yhe whole matter?
    Shanmugam maybe a good litigator but PARLIAMENT IS NOT THE RIGHT FORUM.

    If The erudite minister misses his litigatious moments and want to prove his mettle,it is best he steps down and go back to private law practice.

    Minister of Law is not a micro practice of law but to ensure LAW N ORDER.

    It so happens Mr Shanmugam is also Home Affairs and he shud endeavour to close lapses rather than trying to argue cases for people /citizens who commit offences?
    I am sure Mr Shanmugam is a good advocate but this is not the private sector?

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  • I agree with Ms Teo, trying to mislead the court and “massage” evidence is “normal procedure” and in accordance with the job of a prosecutore?

    This is not an honest mistake and there were other instances as observed by the learned justice Chan, like the spoilt DVD player and the missing 3rd boxes of tainted evidence.

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  • Zhenzidan:

    I believe now they are plotting how to fix the High Court judge Chan Seng Onn who acquitted Liyani. They will probably try to tell the public through the parliament that the high court judge has erred in his judgment and then retire him.

    I remember a similar case years ago when a district court judge by the name Warren Khoo (or something like that) ruled against MOM. He was retired three months later.

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  • Harder Truths:

    All decisions of what is law, right, wrong, fairness, guilt or innocence and how this is administered for the benefit of the regime is decided by the very few at the top of Team Despot. No one else can or is allowed to make decisions – just pretend to carry out the ‘law’

    When the masters say ‘jump’ the correct answer by all these extremely well paid minions is ‘how high?’.

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  • TUMASIK Patriot:

    It’s the best form of a Kangaroo Court where idiots Play to the Gallery and try to win hearts by crying and votes by lying

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  • Court decide:

    let the court decide.
    More fair to all parties.

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  • Ah Peng Kia:

    Unfortunately, as a PAP man, Shanmugam is unable / unwilling to act with integrity and honesty. Isn’t it shameful that the Law Minister of the Singapore government can only perform as hatchet-man of the establishment, as required by his membership to the PAP?

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  • Flabbergasted:

    I have stated from the very onset of PAP rule. It’s one party that all Singaporeans new and old need to get rid off. They are parasites to our society. We are to blame those( 61% of idiots) who voted for them. Give them a free hand and this is what you get. There’s no democracy in Singapore. It rule of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. Even our judiciary is of the same except for HC judge Chan. We need more individuals like him from all sectors of life. Stand up to the might of the PAP. Don’t be afraid. It’s happened in Hongkong, Thailand, Indonesia and soon Singapore. We need to regain our rights.

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  • liew mun leong must be jailed:

    Zhenzidan:
    I believe now they are plotting how to fix the High Court judge Chan Seng Onn who acquitted Liyani. They will probably try to tell the public through the parliament that the high court judge has erred in his judgment and then retire him.

    I remember a similar case years ago when a district court judge by the name Warren Khoo (or something like that) ruled against MOM. He was retired three months later.

    so well said.

    agree.

    that is why, in this pap run island approved by 61% sheep, INSIDE 200m is not within 200m.

    that is why, until today, INDIAN is malay for the purpose of denying Dr Tan CB the presidency.

    do we care?

    well, as long as 61% sheep votes pap, we don’t care. after all, we have our cars, and we live very well whether on pap island or outside pap island.

    then why bother writing here in TRE?

    it is because we know pap thieves are thieving S$m pa out of every citizens’ CPF money tax money.

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  • SinCity:

    The law is under the reptile and his ministers. There is no escaping from the constriction of the law under this who are in power. China’s strong man followed Sin’s way in inflicting injustices on HK Pro democratic leaders.

    The world can never be at peace so long as these “pharisees” are in power.

    Rom 6:14 ISV For Sin will not have Mastery over you, because you are NOT under Law but under Grace.

    That’s a promise to those who are under the mandate from above.

    Severe consequences follow those who walk in darkness.

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  • AristoCATs - Last Word a Must?:

    “Is Parliament the final court of appeal?”

    The AristoCATs HAS to have the last word !

    -
    Sham explanation for Police sloppy work? – “manpower shortage . . .”

    -
    Hello,
    someone almost end up with 2-year jail !

    Plus, there must be other cases that slipped through the cracks and ended up in jail.

    -
    “Flabbergasted” is the word.

    -
    With 39% – more should understand the Power of the Ballot Box !

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  • Realistically:

    @ Teo Soh Lung

    I hv stated b4 that your RANTING gets u and sinkies nowhere………instead you are distracting sinkies of the CORE issue of travesties of justice………..which is completely inimical to what justice is all about.

    You might like to read up Lee Suet Fern’s Counsels’ submission with regards to her appeal against the Law Society DT to even understand what travesty of justice, as articulated by Dr Lee Wei Ling, is all about in the context of the emperor without clothes public pronouncement of how he had to think of ways to “FIX” his critics/opponents. I am sure U are not on his list lah………

    Shanmugam’s so-called Parliament statement was a WHITE WASH………….only sinkies without critical thinking skill will latch onto his unsubstantiated statements – based on his own Ministry’s/Police “investigations” when the Chief Justice himself had implicitly accepted that the DPPs prosecuting Liyani had been guilty of misconduct.

    I hv also said that Shanmugam has NO credibility to claim that the Police had several grounds to charge Liyani, only for the AGC to WITHDRAW the last charge against Liyani………..self-contradictory………..BUT a sinkie like you don’t seem to understand the import of this self-contradiction.

    As a further example of the said Parliament White Wash, even the emperor without clothes has now come out to talk about the Liyani’s case after the Parliament FARCE………….

    “Government will ‘strive to protect and improve’ justice system to ensure fairness: PM Lee”

    Link:https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/lee-hsien-loong-justice-system-shanmugam-parti-liyani-case-13509266

    As I’ve said, people like you can do no better than to read up what Assoc Professor Eugene K B Tan had written in the TODAY on-line news and also the comments by Harpreet Singh Nehal in the Straits Times………..

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  • Stupid Idiot Realistic???:

    Stop licking up to those below asses. What’s the difference between them and Tan kin Lian and Simon Lim AND YOU??? Got integrity then don’t work for Govt. IDIOTS biting the hands that feed them???

    Realistically: As I’ve said, people like you can do no better than to read up what Assoc Professor Eugene K B Tan had written in the TODAY on-line news and also the comments by Harpreet Singh Nehal in the Straits Times………..

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  • Larger than life & lying.....:

    “History shows that where ethics and economics come into conflict, victory always goes to economics: Vested interests have never been known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force to compel them.”

    ― Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Father of the Indian Constitution

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  • Realistically:

    @ Stupid Idiot Realistic???:
    November 12, 2020 at 9:33 pm (Quote)

    , for your own good, please make an appointment with the Institute of Mental Health ASAP…………you clearly need the appropriate medication to alleviate your hallucinatory thinking………u behave much like Trump

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  • Shammuggam talks cork:

    Why r there so many humans across the world including the little island of SIN desperately seeking to bury themselves in pees n poos for the Isle of SIN n shits n scums for the rest of the world while yelling how good they r rather than be human. Why the beasts n fowls when detained with no criminal acts against the human desperately seeking to learn human values long forgotten by those poos, pees, shits n scum drenched human but unfortunately also stainedi by the pres, poos, shits n scum of their captor the arts of brownosing to secure rewards like them. Chinese cliche that men killed by gold greed while beast n fowls killed by feed greed . Trump yelled in profanity n strutted like gorilla cheered on mindlessly by bureaucrats n supporters plagued with greeds, a common pool for both mindless idiots alike as garbage begets garbage, greed begets geed while President regardlessly but when the signs r in that he is no longer, his same profanity yell n gorilla struct became his death tolls, manned by the same mindless shits who r now busily computing how to unload their crime on the maddening gorillas now more like weasels.

    Would the same wayang, now true tomp life dawn on the Isle of SIN? Would there be the heart warming Kallang Roar as they pee n poo in solitary den brightly lit or the dark holes they love?

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