After posting words of encouragement to badminton world champion Loh Kean Yew, who bowed out of this year’s BWF championship quarter-finals, Workers’ Party’s Jamus Lim has weighed in on another national athlete, Joseph Schooling.
The swimmer was found to have taken cannabis overseas in May when he was on short-term disruption from full-time National Service (NS) to train and participate in the Southeast Asian Games.
Assoc Prof Lim took a forgiving view toward the athlete in a Wednesday (Aug 31) Facebook post, writing:
“Everyone makes mistakes. I have too, and will likely do so in the future.
When I’ve erred in the past, I have benefited from others’ forgiveness, and an ability to make up for my wrongdoing.”
The Sengkang GRC MP also weighed in on what it means to live in a compassionate society.
“If we want to live in a compassionate society, I think it begins with exercising less judgment, and more empathy.
Of course, actions have consequences, and the sanctions these athletes will face will hold them accountable for their actions.
But I will not condemn the people, and let he (or she) who is without sin cast the first stone.”
The Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday (Aug 30) that the Singapore Armed Forces “maintains a strict zero-tolerance policy towards drug abuse. Service personnel who test positive for drug abuse will be charged and sentenced to the SAF Detention Barracks. Those who are suspected of or confessed to abusing drugs will be placed on an SAF-supervised urine test regime as part of the treatment and rehabilitation process”.
MINDEF added that Schooling would no longer be eligible for leave or disruption to train or compete while in NS and that he has been issued a formal letter of warning “informing him of the serious consequences of drug abuse meted out to all SAF personnel, who may be sentenced up to nine months detention in the SAF Detention Barracks.”
The athlete issued an apology online, citing “a moment of weakness after going through a very tough period of my life”.
Netizens commenting on Assoc Prof Lim’s post tended to agree with him.