On 26 January, fourteen-year-old Benjamin Lim Jun Hui was found dead at the base of a HDB flat where he lived. Prior to that, five plainclothes police officers showed up at Benjamin’s school on Tuesday morning and took him away for questioning for allegedly outraging the modesty of an 11-year-old girl. Benjamin’s mother was denied access to him for the whole duration of police interview. (read more)
In its attempt to learn more about the incident, The Online Citizen (TOC) wrote to the police on 29 January to seek response on the incident. Receipents include commander and deputy commander, AC Lian Ghim Hua and DAC Chong Zunjie. TOC did not receive any reply from the police.
On 30 January, another query was made again to the police, this time with the Police Commissioner being copied in the mail. But alas, no reply from the police again.
On 5th February, the same query was sent to the different agencies and police commissioner, along with the question of the police’s statement about the plain clothes police officers. (read more). Still, the police remained silent on the issue till today.
On the same day, TOC also wrote to Minister of Home Affairs, K Shanmugam about Benjamin’s case and asked if he had anything to comment or to help with the questions that the police have refused to answer. Similar to the police, Mr K Shanmugam has not given a reply since the mail was sent. Mr K Shanmugam is also the Minister of Law.
What are the questions that the Singapore Police Force and Minister of Home Affairs so unwilling to reply? See below if you’re interested to know.
1) Was the offense deemed urgent enough not to schedule an interview with the boy in question along with his guardian with the police?
2) Was it standard police protocol to visit schools for suspects who are students?
3) Given that it has not been judged that the boy was guilty of his offence, does the police feel that the arrest of the boy could create unreversible damage to his reputation and image?
4) TOC understands that the boy was interviewed by the police without the presence of his guardian, and the mother was denied access to the boy until the investigation is over.
Singapore acceded to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 2 October 1995 and under section 2(b) of article 40 of CRC. Does the police procedure, especially in the mentioned case, follow the points as stated in the CRC?
6) Would the police release the details of the investigation into the boy’s death to the public or to his parents?
7) Does the parent of the boy have any means to file a complaint against the actions of the police?