Few things in the Singaporean schooling system have captured the kind of national attention quite like the controversy surrounding Monica Baey has. The National University of Singapore (NUS) undergrad who took to social media to publicize an incident last November in which one of her fellow students, Nicholas Lim, filmed her while she was showering at the school’s dormitory, has spoken out again — and this time, she’s urging people to stop bullying Lim online.
In a lengthy Instagram post that appeared yesterday, Baey said that Lim and his loved ones do not deserve to be harassed online and that she hopes that he can get the rehabilitation support he needs.
Baey said she is aware that there are people who now say that Lim himself has become a victim, in light of the overwhelming criticism that he has received from netizens: “[A]ll I will say in response to that is I do genuinely hope that he is receiving [the] proper support [that] he needs to rehabilitate…. He does not deserve to be bullied online by trolls, and he definitely does not deserve to have his punishment met (sic) out by anyone on the internet — including me.”
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However, she also said that she stands by her decision to name Lim as the perpetrator. “I do not owe it to him to keep his name private. Too many perpetrators go unnamed, and get away with sexual assault because their victims feel bad,” she said.
“I want my perpetrator to never hurt a person the way that he hurt me. I want him to get better. I want him to realize what he did was wrong through his punishment (that he is serving now), and realize how badly you can mess a person up just by filming them without their consent through rehabilitation and education,” she said.
She agrees with the general sentiment that the punishment given to Lim was too light, but asserts that it was up to the school officials at NUS to decide if her case should be reopened or not.
Lim was given a 12-month conditional warning for what he did, which means he could only be prosecuted if he commits any other criminal offense within a year. Baey’s mother protested against the light sentence and called it “completely ridiculous,” but the police felt justified in their decision because they believed that Lim has a “high likelihood of rehabilitation” and expressed genuine regret and apologies over the incident, reported The Straits Times.
Lim was also suspended for one semester from NUS, but he is still allowed to visit the campus. He was also made to write an apology letter to Baey.
Likely as a result of the public scrutiny and controversy, Lim resigned from his job at the insurance company Great Eastern, after the company chose to suspend him because of the scandal.
Meanwhile, NUS’ dean of students Associate Professor Peter Pang apologized to Baey for what she went through, and said that they will convene a committee to review the school’s “disciplinary and support frameworks.”
Baey ended her post by encouraging other victims to come forward.
“You are brave enough, and there are people and there are people (like me!!) who will fight for you,” she said. “Don’t worry too much about what other people think. Based off (sic) the overwhelming support I [have] received, know that Singapore recognizes there is a huge issue that we are not talking about, that has been downplayed for years, and now is the time to speak up and be bold.”
Baey was studying in Taiwan as an exchange student last month at the time she divulged her experience with Lim and the ways in which she felt let down by how her school and local police officers handled the infraction.