All You Need To Know About The Sexual Harassment Scandal At Singapore's Top University
A 23-year-old Singaporean is seeking justice after her university imposed a light punishment on a ‘Peeping Tom’
Monica Baey, a third-year communications and new media undergraduate at the National University of Singapore (NUS), took to Instagram on 18 April to share about a traumatic incident that took place last November.
1. Baey was showering at her student residence Eusoff Hall on 25 November when she noticed an iPhone being held underneath the cubicle's door
Baey told Mothership that she only realised that the iPhone was there when she turned around to grab her towel.
The man recording her quickly ran off.
After contacting campus security and going through CCTV footage, Baey discovered that the perpetrator was a student named Nicholas Lim.
She was friends with both Lim and his girlfriend, who was also a resident of Eusoff Hall.
2. When Baey met up with Lim and his girlfriend to discuss the incident, he justified his actions by claiming that he was heavily intoxicated and inspired by a genre of pornography
However, Baey asserted that CCTV footage showed Lim searching different cubicles in a different block for someone to film.
She argued that this called into question his justification that he was too intoxicated to realise what he was doing.
Lim told her that this was his first time carrying out such an act, and that he was tempted to film someone because of the genre of pornography he consumed - voyeurism.
She claimed that the couple apologised and tried convincing her to drop the case against him, Mothership reported.
3. After a two-month investigation, the university decided to give Lim a 12-month suspension and ban him from entering Eusoff Hall
In addition to being required to undergo mandatory counselling, the perpetrator was also asked to write a formal apology letter to Baey.
4. Baey argued that the punishments hardly affect Lim as he did even not live in a campus hall, and he was still allowed to visit the university campus
5. In a series of Insta Stories, Baey called NUS out for what she deemed to be an inadequate response towards a serious crime
"When will I f-cking get the justice I deserve for what you did to me?" she wrote, adding that this is not the first incident at NUS whereby a female student was filmed while indecent.
"It has happened so many f-cking times to so many girls all over the island. People keep re-committing because they keep getting away with it," she added.
6. Baey also slammed Lim's one-page apology letter, arguing that she has to continue living with the trauma while he walks off with a slap on the wrist
"You get to live your life like nothing ever happened and I'm the one suffering in fear of going (to the) toilet alone and having flashbacks," she wrote in an Insta story.
"If you commit a crime, prepare to face the consequences, especially if your victim is not afraid of speaking out," she wrote, before sharing a screenshot of Lim's Instagram page.
She also said that she did not care who Lim's parents are, when a netizen pointed out that they were "powerful" in Singapore.
7. Since then, almost 30,000 people have signed two separate online petitions calling for NUS and the police to impose harsher punishments on perpetrators of sexual offences on university campuses
"We need to do more to protect our girls from such perverts! Such inaction is unacceptable and will only encourage more perverts to commit such crimes! It will also set an unhealthy precedent for future cases!" the Change.org petition read.
About two dozen past cases of sexual misconduct in NUS were highlighted and reported, alongside the punishments meted out — none of which resulted in jail time.
8. After Baey's posts went viral, a Singaporean company publicly declared that it will no longer work with the university unless the perpetrator is expelled
Urban farm company OnHand Agrarian wrote in a Facebook post on 21 April that, "This isn't a case of he-said-she-said; the offender has literally admitted to the crime in writing, after voluntarily consuming a legal narcotic."
"No talks, no internships, no site visits, no use of our company when you need industry partners to be Co-PIs for government grant submissions," the statement read.
9. On 20 April, NUS issued a statement saying that they are in the process of reaching out to Baey to offer support and assistance
The university also added that a committee will be convened to "review the current disciplinary and support frameworks".
NUS is also organising a townhall meeting on Thursday, 25 April, to gather feedback and concerns on sexual misconduct on campus and discuss how to improve its disciplinary and support mechanisms.
10. On 22 April, Great Eastern Singapore - where Lim had been working as a financial advisor - said that they had suspended him
In a Facebook post published on 22 April, Great Eastern Singapore stated that it strongly disapproves of any inappropriate misconduct by its financial representatives and will not hesitate to take necessary action against such employees.
Lim submitted his resignation from the company following the suspension.