Singapore netizen Bryan Lim apologises over LGBT 'open fire' comment

Mr Lim says his original Facebook comment on June 4 was taken out of context.
Mr Lim says his original Facebook comment on June 4 was taken out of context. PHOTO: BRYAN LIM/ FACEBOOK

A man who asked for "permission to open fire" in a Facebook post on the page of a local group opposed to an annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rally has apologised "for the misunderstanding" and has taken down his Facebook page and original post.

In screenshots of his post, Facebook user Bryan Lim 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."

In a separate comment, he added: "I did not mean physical bullets nor physical death. I mean open fire in debate and remove them from Singapore domestic matters."

His original comment was made on June 4 on the We Are Against Pink Dot Facebook page in response to a post about foreign sponsorship of Pink Dot, the annual LGBT rally.

It read: "I am a Singaporean citizen. I am an 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."

Mr Bryan Lim's employer, Canon Singapore, declined comment, saying the case was under police investigation. On Monday, Canon Singapore said it does not condone violence in any form.

Some netizens claimed Mr Lim was with the Singapore Police Force, after a picture of him wearing what appeared to be a police uniform was circulated online. A police spokesman clarified that he is not a police national serviceman.

Singaporeans from the LGBT community said Mr Lim's comments - whether taken out of context or not - was a reminder of their vulnerability as a marginalised group. They expressed concern after Sunday's mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando, Florida, left 49 people dead and 53 injured.

"There has been a rise of fundamentalism in the region, even in Singapore, and it's a concern for us. I wouldn't rule out violence against the LGBT community here," said doctoral candidate Ching S. Sia, 33.

Mr Nicholas Lim, 36, founder of LGBT online community GLBT Voices Singapore, said: "I don't see this happening in the near future and firearms here are rare, but what if someone decides to take a knife and go out to a gay bar? I think people need to realise it's one thing to have strong personal beliefs and another to share thoughts of violence online."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2016, with the headline Singapore netizen Bryan Lim apologises over LGBT 'open fire' comment. Subscribe