Singapore

Liew Mun Leong steps down as CAG, Surbana Jurong chairman

He says he does not want the current situation to be a distraction

Mr Liew Mun Leong yesterday said he respects the decision of the High Court, which last Friday acquitted his former maid of stealing from his family and raised questions about his motivation in lodging a police report against her.

"The High Court has made its decision. I have faith in our legal system and respect the decision of the High Court," he said in a statement announcing his decision to step down from four public appointments.

Mr Liew, 74, said he decided to "bring forward my retirement" from these roles, as he did not wish his current situation to be a distraction to the organisations.

Yesterday, he stepped down as chairman of Changi Airport Group (CAG) and Surbana Jurong.

He had been chairman of CAG since 2009 and Surbana since 2013, before it became Surbana Jurong two years later.

He has also resigned from his positions as senior international business adviser at Singapore investment company Temasek and as a board member of the Temasek Foundation.

"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, amidst their many critical priorities."

Mr Liew, who is also the former chief executive of CapitaLand, added that should it be required, he and his family will continue to provide full cooperation to the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) and the police in their review of the case.

Last Friday, Justice Chan Seng Onn acquitted the Liews' former maid, Indonesian Parti Liyani, of stealing from the family.

Ms Parti, 46, who worked for the family from 2007 to 2016, was accused of stealing over $34,000 worth of items.

A district judge found her guilty on four charges of theft and handed down a 26-month jail sentence in March last year. She appealed against the conviction and sentence in the High Court.

On Tuesday, Ms Parti was cleared of a fifth charge of fraudulent possession of property, freeing her of all criminal charges.

The AGC, police and MOM have said they are reviewing the handling of the case, which has led to an online backlash against Mr Liew.

In his statement yesterday, Mr Liew outlined why he lodged the report, saying: "When my family discovered some of our belongings in Ms Liyani's boxes, I proceeded to make a police report the same afternoon I returned from overseas - because 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 added: "Throughout the investigations and trial, my family members and I cooperated fully with the police and gave statements and evidence when required."

Mr Liew said that should it be required, he stands ready to assist or advise - without compensation, and in any way appropriate, given the ongoing challenges posed by Covid-19 - the organisations he stepped down from.

BUSINESS & FINANCE