Death of Benjamin Lim Pt 1: The Cold, Hard, Emotionless Facts

Posted on Mar 3 2016 - 4:59pm by Redwire Singapore

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RONALD LEE: I’ve refrained from discussing the suicide of Benjamin Lim until further facts were provided by the police. That was out of respect for the family of the young man, and our boys in blue.

Besides, everyone’s a lawyer now across state and social media platforms.

But for clarity, and after being pressed for my/our thoughts about this issue many times over the past two weeks, let’s explore this further piecing together news reports and the latest revelations by our Home Affairs Minister.

This would form the foundation of our 5-part series on the Death of Benjamin Lim:

Death of Benjamin Lim Pt 1: The Cold, Hard, Emotionless Facts
Death of Benjamin Lim Pt 2: Making Sense of a Life Lost and Loss of Innocence
Death of Benjamin Lim Pt 3: Did Police Pull the Trigger on the Teen’s Fatal Leap?
Death of Benjamin Lim Pt 4: The Importance of a Fourth Estate in Singapore
Death of Benjamin Lim Pt 5: Whose Side are You On?

To sum up the chain of events as we know it for now:

(1) The Molest Allegation

-CCTV footage showed a boy resembling Lim following an 11-year-old girl into a lift
-the lift was for a block of flats near to the block where Lim lived
-CCTV footage from the lift showed a boy resembling Lim touched the girl
-the touching was deemed inappropriate enough that she made a police report

(2) The Arrest

-a plainclothes officer talked to Lim and arrested him at his school for further investigation
-at the time, police suspected but couldn’t confirm that the culprit was Lim
-Lim was taken to the police station by 3 plainclothes officers, one of whom alighted midway

(3) The Interrogation

-Lim was spoken to alone, in an office cubicle at the police station for about 3 hours
-he was offered food and drink after the interrogation and declined both
-he told the police that he molested the 11-year-old girl, and had intention to do so
-Lim is placed in a holding room while police record a statement from his mother
-Lim is released on bail and his mother and sister bring him home

(4) The Suicide

-Lim has lunch at home with his family later played games on his handphone
-a school counsellor speaks to his mother and they agree he won’t attend the next day’s school camp
-Lim is later found dead at the foot of his block of flats
-his death came an hour and a half after he was released from police custody

(5) The Aftermath

-Lim’s father writes an open letter to The Online Citizen
-he said that Lim admitted guilt because the police “said I am guilty, so I am guilty lor”.
-he said that Lim’s last meal was a cold bun and a drink
-he revealed that Lim was a member of the National Police Cadet Corps, and working at MacDonald’s
-Lim’s father calls for privacy and confidentiality after Shanmugam speaks in parliament

(6) The Role of The Online Citizen

-TOC took it upon itself to take up Lim’s cause
-it published over 20 stories about the suicide, some which were subsequently proven untrue
-one untruth involved a netizen claiming police arrested Lim with wearing shirts with the word “police”
-TOC also published opinion pieces from the public regarding the circumstances of Lim’s arrest and suicide
-Shanmugam accuses TOC of misleading the public and wronging the police
-TOC rubbishes the accusations

 

This story is part 1 of a 5 part series on the Death of Benjamin Lim. Read more:

Death of Benjamin Lim Pt 1: The Cold, Hard, Emotionless Facts
Death of Benjamin Lim Pt 2: Making Sense of a Life Lost and Loss of Innocence
Death of Benjamin Lim Pt 3: Did Police Pull the Trigger on the Teen’s Fatal Leap?
Death of Benjamin Lim Pt 4: The Importance of a Fourth Estate in Singapore
Death of Benjamin Lim Pt 5: Whose Side are You On?

 

 

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