In an attempt to silence increasing criticisms over the Singapore Police’s mishandling of the interrogation process with a minor, Singapore’s Law Minister K Shanmugam sent a chilling warning to Singaporeans who comment on the high profile suicide case that they may face prosecution from the Sub Judice laws. In a response to a MP’s enquiry, K Shanmugam reminded everyone that “the law of contempt applies both online and offline”.
The Law Minister also discredited online media, theonlinecitizen (TOC), for relentlessly following up on the case with over 20 articles published to date after weeks of blanket silence from the government. Minister K Shanmugam shot down suggestions that the government was cornered into making a response only after TOC kept following up on the case despite having the government-controlled mainstream media Singapore Press Holdings giving the news a media blackout.
“The suggestion that the Benjamin Lim case would have died down if not for social media is ridiculous.
TOC published an article on Feb 5 saying that police wore attire emblazoned with the word “Police”, when investigations found that all officers in the case were in plainclothes. The suggestion is that the police were lying to Singaporeans.”
Minister K Shanmugam has not yet apologise or acknowledged any form of accountability on the teen suicide case. He has however commented that Benjamin would have likely only gotten a warning considering his age and the evidence presented, insinuating that the teen had over-reacted.