Man charged over 'open fire' comment online

After Lim's Facebook post on June 4 was circulated on social media, at least three police reports were lodged. If found guilty, he could face a maximum of five years' jail and a fine.
After Lim's Facebook post on June 4 was circulated on social media, at least three police reports were lodged. If found guilty, he could face a maximum of five years' jail and a fine.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

36-year-old who posted on page of group opposing LGBT rally accused of encouraging violence

A man who allegedly asked for "permission to open fire" against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community was yesterday charged with encouraging violence against the group.

If found guilty, 36-year-old Bryan Lim Sian Yang could face a maximum of five years' jail and a fine.

On June 4, in a Facebook post on the page of a local group opposed to Pink Dot, the annual LBGT rally, Lim allegedly wrote: "I am a Singaporean citizen. I am a NSman, I am a father. And I swore to protect my nation.

"Give me the permission to open fire. I would like to see these £@€$^*s die for their causes."

The regional performance consultant made the comment on the Facebook page of We Are Against Pink Dot In Singapore - a public group with 7,500-plus members - in response to a post that expressed unhappiness with multinational corporations supporting the rally, held on June 4 this year.

APOLOGY

I did not mean physical bullets nor physical death. I mean open fire in debate and remove them from Singapore domestic matters.

'' BRYAN LIM SIAN YANG, in an online apology, saying his original post on Facebook was "taken out of context".

After his post was circulated on social media, at least three police reports were lodged.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wong Woon Kwong asked for three weeks' adjournment to complete investigations.

Lim's desktop computer, laptop and mobile phone were seized by police and his lawyer Adrian Wee told District Judge Christopher Goh that it might take some time before an analysis is carried out.

No additional charges are expected at the moment, the court heard.

Concern over his comments grew after a shooting at a gay nightclub in the United States on June 12, which killed 43 people. Lim has reportedly taken down his post and apologised online.

He wrote: "I apologise for the misunderstanding. My words were strong. I did not mean anyone. I meant Bloomberg and foreign intervention in local matters.

"This was taken out of context. I hope this clears the air.

"I did not mean physical bullets nor physical death. I mean open fire in debate and remove them from Singapore domestic matters.''

Currently out on $10,000 bail, he will appear in court on Aug 4.

In March 2012, a 36-year-old engineer became the first person here to be convicted of putting up an online post carrying an incitement to violence on National Day 2010.

He was fined $6,000 after a trial but the prosecution appealed. The High Court quashed the fine and imposed a two-month jail sentence for the man in September 2012.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2016, with the headline 'Man charged over 'open fire' comment online'. Print Edition | Subscribe