The silence of Sham

In Uncategorized on 03/03/2016 at 2:57 pm

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.

“Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.

“Holmes: “That was the curious incident.

I tot of the above extract from a Sherlock Holmes story, when I spotted a curious gap in Shammugan’s narrative about how Benjamin was treated,

The minister went into great deal of what the police did at the school and after they left the school. We are even told one of the officers in the car that Ben was in alighted before reaching the police station (Day off isit: Shopping?). But he left out telling us how they escorted Benjamin Lim from the principal’s office to the police car. We are just told: Benjamin was then brought back to the Station in an unmarked car, with three officers. One of the officers alighted along the way. That left two officers in the car – one to drive and the other to look out for Benjamin.

This is what I wrote earlier

And while, we don’t know how Benjamin Lim was escorted out, we can guess based on pictures from ST etc on how suspects are escorted by the police. There’ll be one person in front, one on each side of the suspect and one behind.

Students would say, “Double confirm! Ben’s in big, big trouble!”

My point is that students are very observant, can put “two and two together”, gossip a lot and love teasing (I can imagine the teasing he’d face). This is something that the police and the school officials couldn’t be bothered to think about when they did what they did.

So it would have been good to know how Benjamin Lim was escorted out of the office and into a car. Was it done in a discreet manner, or done in a manner that draws attention to the fact that someone is being detained for questioning ie in big trouble.

Whatever, we know that he got into a car with three policemen in mufti. That in itself would have got students talking, “OMG, Ben’s in trouble”.

A school is a kampung so why did the police commander send in five policemen in plainclothes (with some allegedly wearing tee-shirts with the word “POLICE”, which if true defeats the purpose of wearing mufti) in two unmarked cars? Two cars with five persons coming into the school compound during recess is sure to attract attention. And more when all or most of them head for principal’s office. Furthermore remember that students are observant and will notice the guns being carried under mufti.

Dr Paul Thamby and the other SDP Young Turks should note the silence of Sham on the SDP’s KBKPing on the issue. He castigated the LawSoc and TOC but not the SDP. The SDP had to crow about itself: If not for TOC’s and the Law Society’s statements – the SDP had also issued a statement (here) – the pressure for the government to address the matter would not have been as intense.

Maybe he left out the SDP because it is like Voldemort: “You-Know-Who”, “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” and “He Who Cannot Be Named”.

But most probably, he left out naming the SDP because he knows that the SDP under the leadership of Dr Chee has very little cred with the 35% of the voters that constitute the swing vote. Maybe Dr Paul and the other Young Turks, idealists all, should hedge their bets and spend time and money helping TOC? Of course if they are convinced that the SDP Old Guard will handover power soon then they are right to work inside the SDP. If not time to hedge their bets: work with TOC to try to effect change.

Update on 4 March at 7.00 am: This comment appeared in response to above. Spot on.

Shan said a lot but answered none of the most obvious and vexatious questions. The procedures/protocol he took pains to spell out told us nothing about what took place. He made it sound like a routine walk in the park by the policemen. The fact that they thought fit to send FIVE grown up policemen to ‘fetch’ a 14-year old from school revealed a lot about the mentality of the police. DON’T FORGET THAT BY THEN THEY HAVE ALREADY VIEWED THE HDB CCTV CLIPS AND KNEW EXACTLY WHAT TO EXPECT AND HOW BENJAMIN LIM LOOKED LIKE. SO ANY SUGGESTION THAT THE POLICE HAS TO ‘INVADE’ THE SCHOOL IN FORCE IN CASE OF AN AGGRESSIVE BENJAMIN WILL BE PURE BS. Even from the pictures on social media we can see how average and geeky the student looked like. It is not as if Benjamin Lim had a punk hairstyle (i.e. bald headed) and had tattoo on his arm and legs!!!

Minister Shan tried to play down the ‘number’ game when he said only one policeman had accompanied Benjamin to the AMK police station. I am unconvinced and would rebut this by pointing out that at least three of them could had easily left earlier in one of the two unmarked police cars that they drove to the school in without waiting for the officer questioning Benjamin in the principal office. Why were they idling in the school’s premises, unless they were there to pre-empt the student from making a possible run for it! This says quite a lot about the kiasuness of the police or perhaps it exposed their lack of confidence or competence. God knows what sort of internal police guidelines they have to comply with which perhaps could have been issued after a couple of past cases where adult prisoners had escaped from custody! This raises questions about the competency of at least some of our policemen or their (kiasu) superiors.

  1. The wayang in parliament reminds me of past experience relating to medico-legal events — repeat the same story using simple sentences. Don’t embellish. Don’t add new info. Don’t acknowledge possible shortcomings however remote. Never say sorry. Never postulate. Never suggest. Never say think.

  2. And then redirect attention by creating distractions … falsehoods, sensationalism, how to protect innocent police from baseless accusations…

  3. To kill oneself at your age, it take alot of youthful impluse and the lack of courage to face the overwhelming shame. No more pain, no more worries, RIP silly child.

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