A man’s Facebook post went viral after the Orlando shooting and it cost him $2,500
Bryan Lim took to Facebook to express his anger as a lot of people do, but asking permission to “open fire” got him a hefty fine.
On June 4 this year, Singaporean citizen Bryan Lim posted to an anti-LGBT Facebook an alarming screed, in which he sought “permission” to “open fire”.
It read in full: “I am a Singaporean citizen. I am a [National Service] man. I am a father. And I swore to protect my nation. Give me the permission to open fire. I would like to see these £@€$^*s die for their causes.”
The post went viral eight days later, on June 12, after the Orlando nightclub shooting in the United States. Complaints were made to the police from ten people, some from local LGBT support groups.
Lim said the comments were “taken out of context,” and were not directed at LGBT people but at foreign companies.
“I did not mean physical bullets nor physical death. I mean open fire in debate and remove them from Singapore domestic matters.”
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Lim has since been fined around $2,500 (S$3,500) under the Protection from Harassment Act. The prosecution said Lim’s words were picked carefully and could not be defended on the grounds of being misunderstood.
“By laying plain his threat of violence and seeking permission to open fire, [Lim] would have further aroused the emotions of people who disapproved of the LGBT community and inflamed what, by his own admission, is a deeply emotional issue,” prosecutors Wong Woon Kwong and Sheryl Janet George said.
His defence lawyer called his comment an “over-exuberant and poorly thought-out rant,” but said: “it is [only] in the context of the Orlando shooting that the comment caused alarm.”
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