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Tan Kin Lian says voyeur and his parents are the victims of NUS sexual misconduct case

The Independent logo The Independent 24/4/2019 Jewel Stolarchuk
Tan Kin Lian holding a sign © YT screencaptures

Former NTUC Income chief executive officer Tan Kin Lian has commented that Nicholas Lim and his parents are the victims, as he weighed in on the National University of Singapore (NUS) sexual misconduct case. Tan is an ex-presidential election candidate who may contest the upcoming general election as an opposition candidate.

NUS student Monica Baey revealed that fellow student Nicholas Lim Jun Kai filmed her without her consent and knowledge while she was taking a shower at NUS’ residential Eusoff Hall. Lim was given a one-term suspension, a 12-month conditional (sentence) warning and ordered to make a written apology to the victim.

The punishment given drew intense flak on social media with many calling on the authorities to mete out stiffer punishments against Lim.

Tan, however, feels differently. He wrote on his blog today (Apr 23) that he feels the real victims of the case are Lim and his parents.

Acknowledging that his statement “will appear to be controversial,” Tan said that Nicholas has “paid the price for his foolish act” and that his “future looks uncertain.”. He asserted: “I consider that Nicholas Lim and his parents are now the victims of this episode. Some people might say – he deserve it.

“I disagree. As a society, we have to be fair to everybody. Nicholas has already paid the price which was considered to be appropriate at that time. Our society cannot be so vindictive and punitive. We cannot continue to punish a person repeatedly for the same offense. We cannot condemn him for a lifetime.”

Although he commended communications major Baey for bringing the matter up, Tan suggested that she could have highlighted the matter more generally, without having directly exposed chemical engineering major Nicholas Lim. He wrote:

“I commend Monica for her courage in bringing this matter up. But she could have raised this issue in a more general way, and not involve Nicholas Lim directly, as I understand there were several incidents of this nature in NUS.”

Clarifying that he has no personal connection with Nicholas Lim or his parents, Tan said that in spite of this, he “feel[s] their anguish. I am quite sad that as a society we are do not understand compassion. We do not know when it is enough.”

He asked: “By all means, NUS should increase its penalty for this kind of offense. Maybe the police should have charged Nicholas Lim in court for the offense. Do not make Nicholas Lim the victim of wrong decisions taken (sic) the Police and NUS.”

Tan asked his readers whether they agree that Lim and his parents are now the victims of this episode. Fifty-four readers disagreed while 39 individuals agreed with his views.

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