Earlier this week, a National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduate, Monica Baey has come forward as the girl who figures in a controversial shower video that was allegedly taken by a Nicholas Lim, said to be also a student at NUS, as exposed by Monica.
Monica, who is 23 years old and is a third-year communication major, is an intern at Rice Communications PTE Ltd. Unlike other sex crime victims who usually keep quiet as they are afraid of the social stigma or attention, Monica has been openly canvasing for a harsher punishment for her alleged perpetrator and wants NUS to take more concrete actions against him.
Likely due to the media and public attention which Monica had successfully brought to her saga, NUS announced yesterday in a public statement saying it will convene a committee to review its disciplinary and support frameworks. Here’s the full statement from NUS issued by Associate Professor Peter Pang, the school’s Dean of Students:
“We are sorry for Miss Monica Baey’s distressing experience, which is of extreme concern to the University. We are in the process of reaching out to her to offer our support and assistance.
What has been committed is serious and investigated by the Police and we understand that the male student concerned received a 12-month conditional warning from the police.
When such offences are committed, the NUS Board of Discipline, which comprises student and faculty representatives, will also conduct its own disciplinary proceedings.
It will consider factors such as the severity of the offence, the need for justice for the victim, the rehabilitative needs of the student offender, the safety of the NUS community, and also the decisions and penalties imposed by the authorities.
We hear the concerns expressed by members of our community and the public about having a safer and more supportive campus environment, and recognise that advances in camera technology can be easily abused.
NUS President will convene a committee to review the current disciplinary and support frameworks. This committee, which will have representation from the NUS Board of Trustees, will study the approaches taken by other international institutions, and solicit views from various stakeholders. We expect to share the findings of the study and follow up actions in the new academic year.”
Associate Professor Peter Pang
Dean of Students
National University of Singapore
Monica has revealed that Nicholas Lim was made to write a letter of apology to her, undergo mandatory counselling, banned from entering Eusoff Hall in NUS and suspended from school for a semester. The chemical engineering student was not charged and was instead given a 12-month conditional warning by the police.
She claimed that when she approached the police to ask where there was no criminal charges for Nicholas Lim, she was told to take it up to NUS instead.
The police has not made any public statement on this case as of now.
In this current day and age where #metoo campaigns are gaining tractions worldwide, with victims of sex crimes more willing to step forward to call for firmer actions against their perpetrators, it remains to be seen what would be the outcome of NUS’ disciplinary review over the Monica Baey saga.
There have been calls by netizens and online troll, SMRT Feedback by the Vigilenteh, asking Monica Baey to take up a private lawsuit against her perpetuator if she remains unsatisfied with the official criminal verdict. Here’s the suggestion by the latter:
“If you have been a victim of molest, outrage or insult to your modesty, and the suspect only received a conditional warning, here’s what you can do (not to be taken as legal advice):
1. If the incident causes you to have constant flashbacks, anxiety or trauma for more than a month, get yourself check to see if you are diagnosed for PTSD. Check also if have any medical issues that crop up as a result of this trauma.
2. File a civil suit for mental pain and suffering.
3. The warning given by the police to the suspect including the actions undertaken by the other relevant authorities or insitutions (eg. NUS) can be documentary evidence as part of your legal premise.
PTSD is an invisible injury and as such, it’s hard to prove in court. It’s a serious issue that have seen some people not recovering from it, even to the point of being warded in hospital repeatedly for a couple of years. If you can prove this medical condition, you *may* have a case.
Many will try to claim PTSD though. Sometimes those with fractured arm may also act like they got PTSD (cc: Khaw Boon Wan)”
This fresh case brings to mind the case of Juwon Park, a Channel NewsAsia TV TV Producer/ Journalist who allegedly took issue at the apparent sexism that one of her unnamed colleagues exhibited in a previous undocumented conversation. Park’s case came to the public attention in May 2017. She has since left Singapore and there seems to be no resolution to her case.