Benjamin Lim: A life gone through apathy and bo chap

I reproduced a few paras from a post, ‘Where is compassion’ in TRE by a Zarina Jaffar, a teacher on Benjamin’s tragic and unwarranted death.

‘To Benjamin’s parents, no words are enough to release you from your pain. Your boy is a good son. Society, rules and order are cruel towards him. May Benjamin soul rest in peace.

To the Policemen, Principal, Vice Principal, Counsellor, what you fail to do when Benjamin is alive, put it right in his death. His parents need closure. There is no need to give excuses and get defensive. A wrong can never be right if it is wrong. Give the much-needed closure that Benjamin’s parents now and the answer they are seeking. That is the most honourable things you guys can do now, but the burden of guilt will always be yours to deal with.

To the Ministry of Education, please take a personal interest in this case and assist Benjamin parents to come to terms with their loss.

To the society, let’s show our love and support to Benjamin parents in their hours of needs especially with the upcoming Chinese New year. I similarly lost a loved one eight years ago. But the pain of what Benjamin parents is going trough, none of us will ever understand.’

To those people who directly or indirectly contributed to Benjamin’s death, may this episode haunt their conscience for the rest of their lives.  He was only 14! And the insensitive Today paper has an article with this title, MPs, expert laud police review of interview process involving minors’.  Why review now when it should not have happened?  A child must be protected and the law is there to protect a child. And it was quoted that the police are now considering whether adults are appropriate to be present during interviews of minors and whether the proceeding should be video recorded. Unbelieveable! Still living in the medieval age.

And ‘According to an ex police officer who did not wish to be named, the police currently do not allow other parties to be present during interviews because it might hamper investigations. The police knew something is drastically wrong with the procedures. Would they also investigate what actually happened that led to the boy’s death? A healthy normal boy went to school, after being brought to the police station by 5 policemen, returned home and jumped out of the window. Dead. Gone forever. The family lost a son out of the blue.

Shanmugam, what have you got to say? This happened in your watch.


theonion said...


My sympathies for the parents of the departed boy.
However, where is the justice for the victim of alleged molestation.
let the proper investigations and procedure be done so that there is justice for all.

Anonymous said...

During the Little India Riot, the police was short of manpower. How looks like got excessive manpower. 5 officers to bring a 14 year old boy from school for investigation. Or were they afraid the boy would become violent and needed 5 men to handle him?

Anonymous said...

Questioning children (Queensland, Australia Govt. website)

Children should always ask if they can have an adult (who they like and trust) present with them in an interview.
Sometimes police can question children without another adult present.

However, if a child has been charged with an indictable offence, the court can refuse to consider statements from children (16 years and under) if an independent person was not present at the interview.

Dear parents
For the future safety of your children.
Vote Opposition for a parliamentary review of the law concerning children in police custody.

Anonymous said...

Such things, and many other such things, happened because there is no better alternative to the ruling party as govt.

And the ruling party sets the tone and is responsible for the way, not just the police, but also how the entire civil service conduct themselves and how they treat not only minors, but also the opposition.

Anonymous said...

This statement found in the article is indeed............

"to those people who directly or indirectly contributed
to Benjamin’s death, may this episode haunt their conscience
for the rest of their lives"

"to those people who directly or indirectly contributed
to Benjamin’s death, may this episode haunt their conscience
for the rest of their lives"

Anonymous said...

Can the Cops Question My Child about His Involvement in a Crime?


Dear parents
Do you know your children's legal rights under Singapore laws?
Educate your children before it is too late.

Anonymous said...

"to those people who directly or indirectly contributed
to Benjamin’s death, may this episode haunt their conscience
for the rest of their lives"
February 03, 2016 11:20 am

You think "haunting" and "conscience" can protect the next Singapore child?
Typical daft 70%

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi theonion,

The molestation charge would be dealt with as it is. If the boy is guilty of that charge he would be dealt with appropriately.

The death of a boy after being interrogated is a different matter altogether.

Do not mix the two cases as one.

Anonymous said...

So what is Singapore Police's official procedure for the interrogation of minors?
There are a couple of issues here.

1) Does the Singapore Police (SPF) have an established process for the arrest and interrogation of minors?

2) Did the SPF follow their own guidelines in Benjamin's case?

3) How robust is the SPF's guidelines versus the American or other developed countries' guidelines?

4) Was Benjamin under arrest?
- if he was not under arrest, Benjamin is under no obligation to go to the police station right?
- was Benjamin advised of his rights?

Dear parents
For the future safety of your children.
Do you think you should vote Opposition for a parliamentary review of the law concerning children in police custody?

Anonymous said...

善有善报! 恶有恶报! 不是不报 时候未到

善有善报! 恶有恶报! 不是不报 时候未到

Anonymous said...

Sadly the young boy was not prepared to face multiple blows . Sadly the school admin failed to get the rightful consent from his parents to leave the school . Sadly the police did not let the boy attended his school lessons for the day . Sadly the parents were not inform first-hand of the school-and-police investigation . Hand-On Green Matters

Anonymous said...

Police Questioning of Juveniles (Minors) In California Criminal Cases

A very important 2 minute video made by a Juvenile Defense Lawyer
- watch it for the sake of your children


Anonymous said...

To answer Anon 12:07,

It is reported in the media that the police has progressed. Only quite recently a case like Benjamin, police would have handcuffed him. Now they did not have to handcuff him. Good already.

The police have procedures under the so called Appropriate Adult scheme - under which an adult will be present when persons with 'intellectual or mental disability' are required to give a statement to the police during investigation.

Anonymous said...

@ February 03, 2016 2:01 pm
"It is reported in the media that the police has progressed"

Benjamin died a few hours after police interrogation.
And this is "progressive" how?

"a case like Benjamin, police would have handcuffed him."
- what is the guidelines for using handcuffs?
What Procedures Must the Police Follow While Making an Arrest?


When the police arrest someone, they take away that person's fundamental right to freedom. Consequently, there are several procedures the police must follow before they can make a legal arrest so that our rights remain protected.

Anonymous said...

When may an officer arrest someone?
There are only a very limited number of circumstances in which an officer may make an arrest:

The officer personally observed a crime;
The officer has probable cause to believe that person arrested committed a crime;
The officer has an arrest warrant issued by a judge.

An officer cannot arrest someone just because she feels like it or has a vague hunch that someone might be a criminal. Police officers have to be able to justify their arrest usually by showing some tangible evidence that led them to probable cause.


Anonymous said...

Police Arrest Procedures
The rules regarding what an officer must do while making an arrest vary by jurisdiction.

The officer need not use handcuffs, or place the arrestee in a police cruiser, although police often use these tactics to protect themselves.

Police also do not have to read Miranda Rights at the time of arrest.
However, the police must read a suspect his Miranda Rights before an interrogation, so many police departments recommend that Miranda Rights be read at the time of arrest.

This way, they can start questioning right away, and also, any information volunteered by a suspect can be used against them.

Finally, although police will almost always tell an arrestee why they are under arrest, they may not necessarily have any legal obligation to do so. This depends on both the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the arrest.


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Poor Benjamin, can't imagine the stress and pain that he was going through to jump out of the window. Who ever the fucker that made a 14 year old boy to feel his life had collapsed and it was better to die than to live...it must be like hell to this young boy. He must in a state of despair with no one to turn to, no one to help him.

I am very disgusted with this whole episode.

Anonymous said...

Uncle RB, ai/ mee one gazillion % share your ( utter, total and absolute ) disgust.

This time is Benjamin, next could be anybody's son or grandson.

Ai/ mee one gazillion % share your ( deep, extreme and acute ) anguish and empathise with your utmost and enormous disgust and frustration ........

Anonymous said...

the dangers of "own self check own self".

how many more juveniles like Amos Yee and Benjamin Lim ... before the daft 70% will wake up?

Anonymous said...

Someone must explain. We want the truth, transparency.

Anonymous said...

Today a 14 year old could be more 'aware' than a 20 year old.
I always ask if the parents have established the relationship and links with their child.
Where did they go wrong; not where did the police go wrong.
The result of any death is multi-factorial and cannot be attributed to persons or causes where the child was last present.

Anonymous said...

The result of any death is multi-factorial and cannot be attributed to persons or causes where the child was last present.
February 03, 2016 2:48 pm

Really ah.
But I cannot get my cpf money back at 55 years old because an mysterious unnamed Singaporean male squandered all his cpf money on Batam women leh.

How come you never say "The loss of cpf money is multi-factorial and cannot be attributed to persons or causes where the man was last present?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Anon 2:48, don't be an asshole. If only this boy is your son or grandson.

The more I think about what Benjamin must have gone through I could not hold back my tears.

Anonymous said...

Vote them out.
Vote them out.
Vote them out.
that is our only protection.

Anonymous said...

All the IBs, if you have nothing good to say, shut up!

Anonymous said...

I see that many readers are disgusted and frustrated over this tragic issue, that is a good thing (not that the issue is a good thing, goodness me!, but the signs of disgust and frustration is a good thing).

However out of this disgust and frustration, there is a tendency to lay blame all over the place. This is a natural and understandable reaction, but it's a bad thing. If you look at the situation with a cool head, you'll see just exactly where to lay the blame. Not the teachers, not the school, not even the police. It's our legal system, and the door to that lies on the heads of our politicians.

In any other advanced country, it is unthinkable that a child could be interrogated in a police station without the presence of family or legal counsel. Should such a situation arise in an advanced country, all evidence obtained would be thrown out of Court and the persons responsible would face disciplinary action. It's only in Singapore that such a system is allowed to happen. That is where the blame shall fall, not the teachers, not even the police, who merely carry out what our laws proscribe.

Shame on all who are involved in the development of Law in Singapore. If anybody harbours thoughts of taking up Law in Singapore, he better think twice. If anybody thinks Singapore can become any centre of Law other than in third world countries, he has his head buried in the sand.

Anonymous said...

Sad..guess only sons of elite need to be protected...some can be "soil scientist" during NS time

Anonymous said...

Teen commit offence(serious)

Govt will look after em in d n...

Anonymous said...

The Chinese have a term:


Time will inevitably heal almost everything though the pain is also inevitably indescribable and akin to a stab in the heart or a knife slicing through. In Chinese, they call it "心如刀割"。

But in the end, those living must get over it.

It is only human to feel the deep pain, grief and going through the psychological denial stage.

But the dead cannot die in vain and those living should and must act to prevent such a tragedy or incident in similar vein recurring or happening! That is the very least we should and must do for our young as their parents, grandparents and guardians etc .....

Nothing can bring Benjamin back.

Let us all pray for his resting in peace wherever he is now.

Those in power ( and involved ) should, must and have a responsibility to help his family weather through this very, very difficult period. Do whatever ( necessary ) to lessen the pain and at the same time, as many would have gone through losing a loved one, to let time do the ( emotional etc ) healing.

Let us all be strong and encourage/ console/ help each other in trying times and stand in solidarity to weather through all trials and tribulations that life may bring upon in our journey together.

Anonymous said...

After this incident, maybe schools should train all minors to be mentally strong when dealing with the police.

And if they become strong after the training, such tragic incidents will not happen.

Anonymous said...

After this incident, maybe schools should train all minors to be mentally strong when dealing with the police.
And if they become strong after the training, such tragic incidents will not happen.
February 03, 2016 4:47 pm

Amos Yee is a strong young man.
let's hope he will train all our young people to be strong when confronted by bullies.

Anonymous said...

Red Bean. I would have the son or grandson well manneredly taught to be an upright boy by the time he finishes primary school.
A delinquent child is raised by the family. Parenting is not easy. When they get into trouble, parents bear half of the burden.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:54.
You can get back your CPF money at 55 if you have savings in your ordinary account.
And more if you have a flat in your name.
No half truth, please.
And yes, it is multi-factorial with the Special, Retirement and Medisave accounts.
And your spending patterns.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5.11pm.

It's our money.
we want back all our CPF money now.
No strings attached.
It's our money.
What gives you the right to anyhow vary the terms and conditions to the original promise of 55 years old with no strings attached?

It's you who is talking half truths and eternally changing terms and conditions.

It is not multi-factorial.
It is anyhow suka suka change to suit your immediate emergency.

What about our President's Office.
First it's ceremonial.
Then it is Elected.
Is it going to be ceremonial again?
Multi-factorial is it?

Fucking snake oil salesman.

Anonymous said...

A delinquent child is raised by the family. Parenting is not easy. When they get into trouble, parents bear half of the burden.
February 03, 2016 5:04 pm

What about deliquent Ministers?
A deliquent Minister is voted in by the citizens.
Voting wisely is not easy.
When the Minister is deliquent, voters bear half of the burden.
True or not?

Anonymous said...

Well, nobody was honest enough to postulate the most probable cause/s which drove him to his death. Wouldn't you be interested in the kinds of questions or probings, by the police, he was subjected to in such an offense? What would drive a secondary boy to his death?

Anonymous said...

@ 5.53pm

Exactly. Do you think it's just like SGX Dialogue with remisers?
Talk for hours but never mention the elephant in the room.

Anonymous said...

Protect ourselves against bullies.
Vote Opposition in GE 2020.
The life of our children may depend on our vote.

Anonymous said...

Change of tune in society is serious cause of concern. It suggests multiple levels of cover ups and denials. From station to home, one wonders which carries more weight in the eventual uneventful. And how much was it caused by institutional pressures. After all, he is a Benjamin.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Anon 5:04, I admire your confidence in raising a child to be the way you want it. If it is so easy there would not be bad adults anymore.

The combination of nature and nurture can be in different percentages. Sometimes nature takes precedence sometimes nurture takes precedence. Count your blessings when a child is ok.

The Chinese have a saying, some children are creditors coming to collect the debt the parents owed to them. And they would be a pain to raise and some may come and demand the lives of the parents.

Anonymous said...

Amos mocked his mighty subjects with, sometimes, obscenities(cartoon and mere words) and he was made the butt of callous jokes/taunts by Singaporeans(young and old). Even the authorities can't resist molesting him.

And you would have us believe this is different? So who nailed him to the grave?

Anonymous said...

The stones didn't have a chance to land on him and he died. Or perhaps, he was stoned to death indoors? Murderers?

Anonymous said...

So Red Bean, if that Taoist belief of a child being born to claim or reclaim a debt or to pay or repay a debt, why so hard on the authorities pending investigation?

If I tried my best to raise a good kid and yet failed, it was my life. So be it.

Family and parents have a heavy responsibility to set the basics right by the time a kid finishes PSLE.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:32. Let's keep to one topic at a time.

For voters of delinquent ministers, voters bear 70% of the blame.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:11 should call 911.

The only snake oil salesman is found in Waterloo St, occasionally. His father apparently had more snakes to display. Now this man has only one or two. I have not seen either since. And I studied venomous snakes and was born in the year of the Snake.

If your vocab is so venomous, don't wonder why no one paid attention to your swearing.

Anonymous said...

Family and parents have a heavy responsibility to set the basics right by the time a kid finishes PSLE.
February 04, 2016 8:49 am

Benjamin is innocent until proven guilty you poisonous little piece of shit.

May the curse of a thousand fleas infest your wife's birth canal.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:24
Since when did I mention about guilt?
I was only talking about the responsibilities of raising a child.
Unlike you who spews venom and jumps to conclusion.
Cursing others has no effect. Otherwise, all the leaders and bosses would have left prematurely.
Careful with your dirty mouth. Your premature departure could be because of it if you use it once too often.

Anonymous said...

Anon February 04, 2016 11:02 am

What I said, "You poisonous little piece of shit."

agongkia said...

To me likely cause is not necessarily the interview process but it's the embarrassment and shame that he felt when being taken away from his school or during his class.
He is unlikely to end up in this manner if he can be call up or brought back for investigation in a more discreet manner.
Fat hope to expect a third party adult to be present as this may hindle interrogation process.
A good IO should be one who can investigate the truth than just one who just want to secure a conviction for any reason.
Handling such cases on minor for such allegation,especially when the complainant is also a minor,special consideration must be take.
My sympathy to the parent and family members of the deceased.

Anonymous said...

Why no minister or MP dare to open their big mouths? Scare got gold and diamonds falling out is it?

KNN Hong Lim Park disturbed special needs children all talked so much, now one normal healthy boy died unnecessarily and all 'chue thud lan'.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:07 S.h.i.t. comes out of one's lower orifice. It is properly called excreta.
For you, your upper orifice spews s.h.i.t.
Do it once too often, you get to eat it (no regurgitation) or you become one piece of s.h.i.t.
Your departure might be premature if you said it to the wrong guy.
Since when is s.h.i.t. poisonous? Only yours!

Anonymous said...

@ February 04, 2016 2:27 pm

Truly, you are one poisonous little piece of shit.

An innocent boy (not yet proven guilty) has committed suicide.
And all you want to do is insinuate that he had poor upbringing.

"Your departure might be premature if you said it to the wrong guy."
- and now you want to insinuate a death threat

I only know of one political party that employs lowlife piece of shit like you.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:27.
I have not commented on the deceased.
I told readers to avoid such a situation in the raising a child and give it the utmost attention.
I advised you to refrain from talking the way you did.
Your premature departure has nothing to do with me as I won't make anybody depart or be responsible for his early departure.
I now conclude that your s.h.i.t.t.y. habit of talking and writing like this means you have a condition requiring investigation.
An oral examination by an otorhinolaryngologist and a colorectal surgeon is indicated.
The last sentence could be read by your GP.

Anonymous said...

@ February 04, 2016 3:24 pm

Obviously you were delivered by a nurse administering an enema into your mum's anus.
You were conceived when your dad mounted the wrong hole in a drunken romp in the bedroom with your mum.

I hope the rest of the IB is having a good laugh at your expense when they read this.

Anonymous said...

Instead of been keyboard warrior and argue, why don't you guys do a fund raising for benjamin family?

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:46.
This is the way that assuredly accelerates your early demise.

I have a skin so thick that whatever insult you hurl at me or my family members won't get a response in kind or a tit-for-tat. Because I was properly brought up not to feel insecure or angry to insulting gestures or words. Also because such "gesturers" and talkers have been improperly brought up. Sad for you.

Still, see your GP for a referral to the ENT and Colorectal Surgeon and a review by IMH doctors are in order. Sorry I used medical terms the last time.

Anonymous said...

Instead of been keyboard warrior and argue, why don't you guys do a fund raising for benjamin family?
February 04, 2016 3:52 pm

daft Sinkie
Why not you ask the 5 police men instead?

Anonymous said...

Sorry I used medical terms the last time.
February 04, 2016 3:58 pm

I'm sorry also for banging your mother.
Who knows.
Maybe I'm your father.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:28
This confirms you are an orphan.
Cannot say you are an idiot yet.
But based on your hallucination, it could be worse.
I suggest you bang your head against the wall and so let your gene pool cease to produce offsprings like you (or worse).
And good riddance on your early departure.
Good bye.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4.59pm

Watch your manners my son.
This is no way to talk to your father.
You may be a poisonous piece of shit.
But you should still respect your father.

Anonymous said...

Did Benjamin's parents vote for PAP?
Did they get the government they deserve?

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:05.
The s.h.i.t. from your mouth has not killed you yet. So it is not poisonous.
Today, toxic is used for hazardous substances and poison applies to prescribed medicine - or medication.
The dosage - a volumetric unit - will determine if it kills you.
At the rate your emit poison, your departure is soon.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon February 05, 2016 10:01 am

You remind me of a piece of shit I dumped this morning in my toilet bowl.
I kept flushing and flushing.
But this piece of shit refused to go down.

It looks like you won't be departing anytime soon.
There is shit, and there is shit.
The smaller the shit on the IB totem pole.
The more persistent and poisonous they are.
(This means you in case you are also a stupid shit)

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:01
According to medical specialists, floating faeces in a toilet bowl is a sign of healthful diet.

Which is why this s.h.i.t. brain of your is sewage inside the thick skull - a skull as thick as the toilet bowl.

Your mouth is supposed to be an intake of food and water. However, you spew s.h.i.t. instead.

You are not even on the totem pole. You are in the toilet bowl. Ha.