The trial of Parti Liyani rocked Singapore and brought down Liew Mun Leong, one of Singapore’s most powerful businessmen. She had been accused of stealing from members of the Liew family, and a first trial convicted her. This sentence was then overturned in the High Court. Serious questions were raised in the High Court judgement about the police handling of the investigation and the conduct of the first trial.

Dr Stephanie Chok, a H.O.M.E. volunteer who has been part of the team supporting Parti Liyani from the beginning of her ordeal, gives PJ Thum an inside view on the case, the possible mishandling of the investigation by the police, the problems with the trial, and how this is not an isolated incident but related to broader structural issues plaguing Singapore.

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Thum Ping Tjin (“PJ”) is Managing Director of New Naratif and a historian at the University of Oxford. A Rhodes Scholar, Commonwealth Scholar, Olympic athlete, and the only Singaporean to swim the English Channel, his work centres on Southeast Asian governance and politics. His most recent work is Living with Myths in Singapore (Ethos: 2017, co-edited with Loh Kah Seng and Jack Chia). Reach him at