Culture Of Blame Gone Too Far – The Benjamin Lim Case


By: B Goode

Now that the Home Minister has clarified in parliament the circumstances leading to the unfortunate death of Benjamin Lim, who or what are we to blame now?

The ground maybe. For being too hard.

This blaming culture is not unique to us Singaporeans. It is a human attribute so much so that psychologists have included it into the stages of grief.

So Benjamin Lim died. The initial reaction was to blame the Police and the school. If the process was to be allowed to complete, ultimately there would come the realisation that the blame solely laid on Benjamin himself. He pushed himself off the parapet. Could anyone have prevented it? Perhaps. But the blame should not be on the ones who could.

Unfortunately, the blame game had gone way, way too far. It is one thing to blame the Police. It is another thing altogether to create a scenario to give the false impression that the Police was at fault. Which is what The Online Citizen is accused of.

And in this internet age where information and consequently lies and fabrications move at the speed of light, the subject of the blame will have to move just as fast in order to counter the allegations.

In the case of Benjamin Lim, despite the internet exploding with accusations of Police high-handedness, it took two Ministers some days later to give an explanation to Parliament. Why the need to wait for a Parliamentary sitting to calm the situation down?

Couldn’t the Police or the school or even the Ministers come out earlier to debunk the allegations and perhaps give a warning to the offending parties to stop publishing untruths?

Our government officials will have to realise that we are no longer living in the past when statements could be languidly vetted up the bureaucratic ladder before being released. They do not have the luxury of time anymore. Whether they like it or not, they have to be nimble and quick and responsive to the needs and pitfalls of this modern internet age.


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