The Curious Case of Benjamin Lim

The silence is broken. Today, MHA spoke up, MOE spoke up, TOC was slapped on the wrist, Netizens spoke up, and more pieces of the puzzle of the chain of events leading to the death of Benjamin Lim have been shared, even though the picture will never be whole.

Let’s be honest. The Curious Case of Benjamin Lim has left us a lot to think about, no matter where or how our social position dissects and overlaps and cross paths with various players in the story. When we consider this case, in one circle we see parents, in another, we see law enforcers, there is also a circle of educators and mentors, one of teenagers of both genders, of journalists / alternative views, of citizens, of law-makers… and no circle is mutually exclusive…

The Curious Case of Benjamin is not a case where a few politicians’ statements, or a prosecution of the police, or a change in protocol can fix overnight. Neither should it be a case where opportunists should capitalize on for alternative gains, or policy attacks…

The Curious Case of Benjamin is not a case that simply polarizes us like whether we attend or don’t attend Madonna’s concert, nor should it, like whether we respect or don’t respect cops anymore; It’s not left or right, black or white. This is a case that requires lots and lots of discussion; unapologetic, open discussion – whilst simultaneously respecting the memory of Benjamin and his family’s right to grieve in peace.

The Curious Case of Benjamin is a case that will forever remain unresolved

Benjamin ended his life, in effect rendering every facet of the chain of events leading to his death, a one-sided account.

• The Police – Did they follow protocol?

• The School – Could they have done more?

• The Parents – Would their presence have helped?

• The Free Press – Did they make matters worse? Like publishing poorly-researched emotional posts right after the incident, without respecting “still-under-investigation silence” statements made by the police? Seriously people, this is an embarrassing case of how we are a pretty susceptible bunch – idea for a whole other article – In the meantime, do read what you see on the www with internal filters on.

WHAT THEN, should the Curious Case of Benjamin be about?

A National Awakening

Ask yourself this: Does/Should our system, (in theory AND in practice) believe we are INNOCENT until proven GUILTY? We’d like to hear your thoughts.

Instead of tactical changes, we think more qualitative questions need to be asked, of ourselves and of our leaders.

To end, we’d like to say

The loss of any life before its time is tragic, and we wish to express our regret over the death of Benjamin Lim. This unexpected death has left us – as individuals, and as a country, and as a people – in shock. Benjamin’s family and loved ones have our deepest sympathy. But if we let this case simply divide us into camps, seeing to assign blame and cast doubt on entities as a whole so as just to circumvent a deeper discussion (a discussion which we should be capable of), then it’s a death in vain, for we’d have learnt nothing at all.

This article first appeared on Five Stars And A Moon. It is reproduced with permission.


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