A mere 12-month conditional warning for peeping tom is a big joke

By Simon Lim

The following expressed are my views about the peeping tom incident involving National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduates Monica Baey and Nicholas Lim; firstly as a citizen and secondly as a father who has a daughter studying in a local university.

I shall call a spade a spade. The 12-month conditional warning and suspension for a single semester Nicholas Lim received from the police and NUS respectively were way too lenient.

Now that this case has gone public, NUS owes all parents who have daughters studying at its various institutions and all its female students a clear, proper and convincing explanation as to why an obviously more fitting and severe punishment commensurate with the perpetrator's transgression wasn't meted out. (And please, NUS, just a gentle reminder, do not treat members of the public as fools, unthinking and/or spineless cowards.)

According to various news reports, his actions were not a spur-of-the-moment sort of behaviour but rather, a deliberate and calculated one. Yet the police's manner of response to Monica Baey was grossly insulting, disappointing and unsettling among other things.

A fellow netizen put it most appropriately when he posted that American teenager, Michael Fay, was both jailed and caned for vandalizing cars and stealing road signs - mind you he was only 18 years of age then. Nicholas Lim is way older and his offence was sexually repulsive, to say the least.

Punishments and laws are only meaningful if they are able to achieve their deterrent effects. Otherwise, they are merely for show and a waste of everybody’s time and resources. Furthermore, any lack of effective deterrence will only serve to further embolden such abhorrent individuals.

A mere 12 months conditional warning is a big joke, especially for a sex-related offence committed by a not so young person. In all honesty, if no meaningful action is registered visibly with regards to this case, Singapore's reputation in the eyes of the international committee will more than likely take a serious beating.


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