Netizens have been up in arms against Changi Airport Group (CAG) chairman Liew Mun Leong and his family since their former domestic helper was acquitted of stealing over $34,000 worth of items from their household after a four-year legal battle.
The backlash has since found its way onto the Facebook page of Changi Airport itself, even on innocuous posts that are trying to promote shopping deals.
Parti Liyani, 46, was accused by her former employers of theft and was found guilty in March 2019, leaving her with a jail sentence of two years and two months.
She appealed the judgement and was eventually acquitted by High Court judge Chan Seng Onn, who noted that the Liew family had “improper motives” and found the testimony of Karl Liew, Liew Mun Leong’s son, “highly suspect”. The judge noted that there is reason to believe that the affluent family took steps to prevent her from lodging a complaint to the Ministry of Manpower for illegal deployment.
Since the acquittal, the internet has been abuzz with commentaries and support for Parti — an online fundraiser for her to rebuild her life managed to garner over $28,000.
The Facebook page of Changi Airport — the most visible entity under CAG — has now become a runway of sorts for netizens to express their displeasure about the Liew family. In the comments section of a post about the Changi Luxury Shopping Concierge, folks have been posting remarks unrelated to fashion looks.
The snarky comments against the CAG chairman have been repeated in multiple Changi Airport Facebook posts as well, even on the ones that are product giveaway contests as well as an inspiring story about the Changi Foundation philanthropic arm.
“We note the feedback on this matter but have no comment at this moment,” a Changi Airport spokesperson said when contacted by AsiaOne.
Public relations professionals who’ve noted the negative sentiments online told Marketing Interactive that it would be unlikely that Changi Airport’s reputation will take a long-lasting hit from Liew’s role in the case.
Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam has chimed in as well, urging that “it should not be a witch hunt”.
He said that government agencies will look into what has “gone wrong in the chain of events” that lead to Parti being found guilty of stealing.
By : ILYAS SHOLIHYN – ASIAONE