MP Lim Biow Chuan clarifies comment: “Easy to say that the police ought to give offenders a second chance”, after much flak online

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In a Facebook post that has since been deleted, Member of Parliament (MP) for Mountbatten Lim Biow Chuan clarified a comment he made about an ex-offender who was denied jobs because of his past.

MP Lim was replying to the conversation that took place about Singapore People’s Party Member Jose Raymond’s Facebook post.

Jose Raymond on second chances and the Yellow Ribbon Project : Isn’t “Every Singaporean a Good Singaporean”?

In his post, Raymond shared the plight of an ex-offender who was charged and convicted for assault in 2016.

He also added that the man was a father of four young children and was unable to find a job because of his criminal past. In an application to be a security officer, Raymond added that the Singapore Police Force rejected the man’s application citing the reason that he was “not a fit and proper person”.

In his comment on a member of the public’s Facebook page, MP Lim said, “I think it is easy to say that the police ought to give offenders a 2nd chance. But if you are a resident at a condo, would you be comfortable with a security officer with a criminal record especially if the record was recent. (2016).”

He also then went on to say, “Some of us would be OK but some would not be OK. Just like how many people would be comfortable to allow our young child to be taught swimming by a former child molester. I think the reality is that many of us would err on the side of caution”.

MP Lim posted a note on Facebook yesterday regarding the entire issue. He noted that his comments were carried by The Online Citizen (TOC) and Mothership.sg, two online media publications and as a result that attracted many negative comments on his Facebook page.

In his Facebook post, he added, “I don’t reply to comments on TOC because many of those comments were meant to attack, humiliate and destroy. It is not the kind of conversation which helps to make Singapore a better country or to improve the system.”

MP Lim also clarified his earlier comments, “As an example, I quoted a situation where we would not want a convicted child molester to teach swimming to young children; we would also not want a person convicted of dishonesty to be involved in finances or accounts of a company”.

He also said that the police takes into consideration former offences because “what if the offender re-offends? What if the security officer could not manage his anger again and hurts someone badly? Someone whom they are supposed to protect? Would the public turn on the police and ask why did they allow a past offender with anger management issues get a security licence?”

He ended his post adding , “With proper conversation and dialogue, we can improve policies”.

“As an MP, I always look out for such cases so that I can ask the authorities to re-consider the facts. But cursing or deliberately insulting people whose opinion differs from your opinion is not good for the system,” he said.


obbana@theindependent.sg

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