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NUS voyeur leaves Great Eastern, after firm suspends him for ‘misconduct’

SINGAPORE — A National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduate who was caught filming a fellow student in a hostel toilet has resigned from his role at Great Eastern after the company placed him on immediate suspension.

NUS voyeur leaves Great Eastern, after firm suspends him for ‘misconduct’

Nicholas Lim has been placed on immediate suspension and has since submitted his resignation, Great Eastern said. The undergraduate had been working at the insurance firm as he was suspended for a semester after filming a fellow student in the shower.

SINGAPORE — A National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduate who was caught filming a fellow student in a hostel toilet has resigned from his role at Great Eastern after the company placed him on immediate suspension.

“We are aware of the recent incident involving Nicholas Lim, a Great Eastern financial representative,” the insurance firm said on Monday (April 22).

“He has been placed on immediate suspension and has since submitted his resignation. Great Eastern strongly disapproves of any inappropriate misconduct by our financial representatives and will not hesitate to take the necessary action.”

Mr Lim was working at Great Eastern as he had been suspended from NUS for a semester following his offence in November last year, where he filmed fellow student Monica Baey while she was showering at Eusoff Hall.

The crime went viral after Ms Baey, 23, took to Instagram to express her anger at the outcome of the case.

The Singapore Police Force had given Lim a 12-month conditional warning. This means that if he were to commit another crime in the following 12 months, he is liable to be charged and prosecuted for both offences.

Aside from suspending him for a semester, NUS made him write an apology letter to Ms Baey and assigned him to mandatory counselling. “He was basically given a slap on the wrist and a second chance,” Ms Baey wrote. 

LAWYERS WEIGH IN

Since Ms Baey’s Instagram posts went viral, many netizens have also questioned why Mr Lim got off with a warning, while other peeping toms in past cases have been charged and then jailed, fined or put on probation.

Lawyers told TODAY that whether a culprit is charged with an offence or gets off with a warning hinges on the facts of the case and it is up to the discretion of the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC). 

Under Singapore’s Constitution, police officers investigate and recommend an appropriate charge against an accused person, but the final decision to charge anyone lies with AGC’s prosecutors.

TODAY has also reached out to the police and the AGC for comment.

Criminal lawyer Josephus Tan of Invictus Law Corporation said he found it “peculiar” that Mr Lim was not charged.

His offence falls under section 509 of the penal code, which relates to insulting a woman’s modesty.

Mr Tan said that for such offences, “a conditional stern warning is highly unusual, even for a first-time offender”.

He noted for example that in March 2016, then 26-year-old Chang Wen Rong, a former student of the Singapore Management University, was sentenced to 28 weeks’ jail, after using his cellphone and a spy pen camera to capture upskirt videos of numerous women.

And in Oct 2010, first-time offender Chong Kim Hong, then 29, was fined S$4,000 for taking an upskirt video in a bookstore.

Nevertheless, criminal lawyer Gino Singh said that AGC’s decisions are taken on a case-by-case basis.

“AGC must have considered all the factors before deciding the appropriate course of action, in this case the warning,” he said.

Ultimately, it relies on AGC’s “unfettered discretion”, said Mr Singh.

Lawyer Shashi Nathan agreed, saying “there must have been reasons as to why AGC decided upon this course of action” for the perpetrator.

He added: “There must be facts of the case that have not been published, for the decision to be made. Maybe he has a psychiatric condition, maybe he didn’t actually complete the act of filming and nothing much was recorded. There could be all sorts of reasons that unfortunately we do not know.”

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