Commentary: Acquittal Of Domestic Helper On False Charges

Dear All Singapore Stuff,

As I was reading about the acquittal of Ms Parti Liyani, my heart was filled with both profound sadness and joy! Joy that an innocent woman through no fault of hers, could have been incarcerated for offences she did not commit while her high echelon perpetrators could have gotten away with the misdeeds they inflicted on her.

My salutation and highest respect goes to Mr Anil Balchandani who not only believed in his client but also conducted her defence vigorously. Unfortunately, you will not find that many noble lawyers in our Country even if you have to empty out your entire savings to prove your probity!

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Sadness because I recall 2 other such noble men like Mr David Marshall and SC Harry Elias, OBMs who fought their whole lives for the betterment of the Justice system for the mediocre here. Mr Marshall in particular, had lobbied then government feedback chairman Tan Cheng Bock of Ms Teo Soh Lung’s innocence while Mr Elias instituted the criminal legal aid scheme after personally witnessing numerous guilty pleas to offences accused persons may not have committed due to lack of legal representation. Sadly enough, Mr Elias’s initiatives were not able to amply reach the most downtrodden in our society and furthermore, did not go far enough in its inclusion of the class of offences CLAS will aid!

I myself had witnessed a similar incident where a false report (E/20170123/2015) was filed by a former civil servant, trying to escape liability during the course of her business. She had fabricated to police that somebody had forged her signature on business documents when in fact, she was the actual person who signed it. An innocent person could have been wrongfully charged and when that occurs, it is up to the accused to prove his/her innocence throughout developments of a lopsided playing field and potentially unaccountable authority exercised by the prosecutor.

I had communicated these disturbing facts to IO Misha Ann Chua of Tanglin Division when her colleagues barged into the residence of my sickly friend but have not heard from her on the outcome of the case since 7 Aug 2017. I suppose I can safely assume that former civil servant on pension had escaped all legal liabilities despite knowingly filing a false report to implicate another?

Until and when we are prepared to overturn crony capitalism and elitism in our beloved Nation through our voting patterns for genuine change, more of such cases may continue to go undetected unless another Mr Balchandani or M. Ravi are prepared to uphold the principles and spirit of the law education they received.

Even as I conclude, we still have no closure to the allegations of abuse of power in the sensational 38 Oxley Rd case, the Keppel corruption and the arrest of former Bishan-Toa Payoh MP Zainudin Nordin on the FAS scandal!

Dan De Costa

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