Man fined $3,500 over 'open fire' online comment

Bryan Lim Sian Yang was sentenced to a fine of $3500 for making an electronic record containing an incitement to violence.
Bryan Lim Sian Yang was sentenced to a fine of $3500 for making an electronic record containing an incitement to violence. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - A man who asked for "permission to open fire" on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in an online post was fined $3,500 on Friday (Nov 4).

Bryan Lim Sian Yang, 36, pleaded guilty in court to a reduced charge of making a threatening, abusive or insulting communication under the Protection from Harassment Act.

Lim, a regional performance consultant at Canon, was initially charged with encouraging violence against LGBT people, which would have landed him a maximum of five years' jail and a fine.

In a June 4 Facebook post on the page of a local group opposed to Pink Dot, an 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."

Lim, who is married, made the comment on the Facebook page of We Are Against Pink Dot In Singapore - a public group with over 7,500 members - in response to a post that expressed unhappiness with multinational corporations supporting the rally that was held on June 4.

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

Lim's desktop computer, laptop and mobile phone were later seized by police.

Concern over his comments grew after a shooting at a gay nightclub in the United States on June 12, which killed 43 people.

Lim later took 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 or physical death. I mean 'open fire' in debate and remove them from Singapore domestic matters."

Lim's lawyer Adrian Wee said: "He has had his career, reputation and livelihood irretrievably tarnished by this event."

Lim could have been fined up to $5,000.