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 puzzle of the chain of events leading to the death of Benjamin Lim has been shared, even though the picture will never be whole.

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MHA’s Minister Shanmugam speaks up on Case of Benjamin Lim

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 the 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…

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The Curious Case of Benjamin is a case that will forever remain unresolved and will keep us awake at night for many years to come

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” 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. 


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Case of Benjamin Lim: The “Free” Press – Did they make matters worse?

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.

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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, and seek to assign blame, cast doubt on entities as a whole, 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.




  1. Hi,

    I am not sure if this is a case of innocent until proven guilty. The CCTV provided the lead to the police directing them to the boy. The police didn’t not proclaim a guilty judgement but was still investigating and “interviewing” the boy. Rather it was more a case of how the investigation, interview or whatever of the boy could have been better handled considering he was a minor and if the kid was so traumatised, fearful of consequenes (jail, reformatory training), ashamed of exposure, etc. so he committed suicide.

    I don’t think anyone (police, coroner or parents) could come to a definitive conclusion of why the boy killed himself since he did not leave a suicide note, he didn’t confide in anyone and it all happened within hours.

  2. My heart actually goes out to the 11 year victim/family too. Depending on counseling and her maturity I hope she don’t start thinking that she is to blame for making a police report. And with Benjamin’s father blaming the school and school counselor for making the phone call at 4.15 that triggers one would also query his mother support on learning that he need not attend his school camp. How did the mother react plays a very crucial role.

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