Fined for hate speech on Facebook
Man who posted online remark threatening to ‘open fire’ at LGBT supporters had 13 police reports lodged against him
His online comments against supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) cause created such a stir that 13 people made police reports against him.
On June 4, Bryan Lim Sian Yang, 37, an employee at Canon Singapore, posted a Facebook comment which read: "I am a Singaporean citizen. I am an NSman. I am a father. And I swore to protect my nation.
"Give me permission to open fire. I would like to see these (people) die for their causes."
He was fined $3,500 yesterday after pleading guilty to creating the threatening comment on the Facebook page of a group known as "We are against Pinkdot in Singapore" (WAAP).
Pink Dot is a pro-LGBT event held at Hong Lim Park every year.
Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Wong Woon Kwong told the court that at around 11am on June 4, a netizen known as Michael Low, shared a picture with the heading "Say no to foreign intervention in Singapore's politics" on the WAAP Facebook page.
Lim posted his threatening comments about an hour later.
DPP Wong said: "In making the offending comment, the accused's intention was to express his strong objection against the perception that foreign organisations were supporting the LGBT cause and attempting to normalise homosexuality in Singapore."
FEARED FOR SAFETY
He added that on June 12, there was a mass shooting at an American gay nightclub in which 50 people, including the gunman, died.
Alarmed, Oogachaga executive director Leow Yong Fatt, 41, made a police report the next day as he feared for the safety of his staff, volunteers and counselling clients. Twelve other people did likewise.
Oogachaga provides counselling and support for LGBT individuals.
DPP Wong urged District Judge Low Wee Ping to issue Lim a fine of at least $4,000.
DPP Wong said: "The offending comment made by the accused generated significant alarm, in particular throughout the LGBT community. The accused's aggravated and inflammatory comment contained a clear threat of violence through gunfire. This was intentional."
Lim's lawyer, Mr Adrian Wee, asked the judge to sentence his client to a fine of between $1,500 and $2,000.
Stressing that Lim is remorseful and had posted the comment in a moment of folly, he said: "There was no indication that the accused had any ability to carry out gun violence."
For creating the threatening post, he could have been fined up to $5,000.