After weeks of silence, the Singapore government succumbed to public pressure for accountability and finally decided to discuss the Singapore Police’s mishandling which led to a 14-year-old boy’s suicide.
Benjamin Lim Jun Hui, 14, committed suicide right after 5 police officers showed up at his school on the morning of Jan 26, taking him alone away for questioning over an alleged molest case of an 11-year-old girl, with no eyewitnesses, video footage or evidence. The police however claimed that they are acting on the tip-off from an “anonymous neighbour”, but did not shed light on the molest case. The secondary 3 school boy was taken to Ang Mo Kio police station and interrogated for more than 3 hours, before being released on a S$2,000 bail.
During the police interrogation, Benjamin was denied access to his mother by a police officer who hung up on her. It is understood that Benjamin was intimidated by the Singapore Police in the ordeal, who did appear “stunned” according to his sister. The Singapore Police however vehemently denied that the boy was in distress because he “did not exhibit any signs”.
Right after Benjamin reached home, he committed suicide by jumping off from his 14th-storey unit in Yishun.
The Singapore Police did not apologise and have instead said that they are “reviewing” their policies when handling minors. There is no compensation, consolation or any form of acknowledgement of accountability. Benjamin’s family is still grieving over his death and did not celebrate the Chinese New Year.
After weeks of blanket silence and cover up by the government media, Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and first-Education Minister Ng Chee Meng will deliver the government’s response over the police’s mishandling and the police’s attempt to intimidate the boy with excessive police presence.