Liew Mun Leong. The name of his family has certainly been mixed in both glitter and mud for decades. Part of a corporate dynasty that has contributed to the shift of our national economy into one based on Services, he has been on many boardroom or appointment of executive office on our nation’s largest corporations. Surbana Jurong, Changi Airport Group, Temasek, CapitaLand & several other humanitarian Government organizations. But with previous red flags like his son liable for $ 6.5 million in 2018 & Temasek’s CEO Ho Ching defending Mun Leong before the High Court’s sentencings, it is no surprise that today, the reputation of him and his family is worth less than a $20 note. Justice Chan Seng Onn in his wisdom acquitted his former domestic helper Parti Liyani from allegedly stealing thousands of dollars worth of items from the family & thanks to the NGO ” Humanitarian Organisation For Migration Economics”, $28560 has been raised so that (Allah willing) she will be able to rebuild her life back in Indonesia, meet her family once again & hopefully find meaningful employment again.
But if you think that the inhumane damage he has caused former domestic helper Parti Liyani over 3 years or the reflection that our elites only prefer rule of law when it does not hamper them is all that we can gather from this incident, think again ! It reveals an inherent flaw within our supposedly “First World” Institutions that enforce law. What we need now is an office of the Ombudsman ! For those less politically adept, an ombudsman refers to an official appointed to investigate individuals’ complaints against a company or organization, especially a public authority. This position is to monitor government officials and other people of interest to the state when a complaint from regular citizens is lodged. This is placed to ensure that no one, regardless of power is beyond the rule of law. If Singapore had such a position within our political system, justice for Parti Liyani would have been more swift in the sense that she would be able to report her grievances against her former employer without fearing Mun Leong from using some political connections to detain her the way she was from 2017. You may scorn at such an idea, citing that such a position is meant to keep the structure of power intact even if it does not prevent future abuse. But would you say that if you got into a situation where you have some information that could garner anger from one of the elites ? It is nothing more but keeping our position of “meritocracy” practical for more people.
Frankly, I am disgusted that we don’t have such a position in our system of governance. It could be used to paper the gap that has been formed between the locals and foreigners who work here on what seems like pennies to us. Give me your construction workers, domestic helpers, warehouse movers, yearning to earn their small wages in humane conditions of living & legal representation as human beings who have been dealt slightly worse cards in life than we. We complain when they seem belligerent, we praise them when they go beyond their duties. But when does this love-hate relationship mellow into one of mutual understanding ? WHEN ? Don’t get me wrong, we still have to balance out their presence among jobs that we locals can easily fill in. But what we ultimately need is balance. Sweet sweet equilibrium. For the Chinese warehouse worker forced to do overtime with no pay. For the civil servant who got fired for finding his boss in a morally corrupt act. For even the corporate bigwig given libel from a rival who wants to discredit him. All has to… No. MUST BE equal under the all seeing eyes of Lady Justice. Lest her sword slains the innocent
Until the next incident or injustice, I am your loyal Reader, Justin. A bit verbose, but always right and just.