SPF Sets The Record Straight After Straits Times Commentaries On Monica Baey’s Case

Previously on Monica Baey, a Facebook user described that the internet is a scary place, with a point of concern being fact checking.

Turns out, she was right all along.

Image: Giphy

Police Responds To Straits Times Articles

In response to two Straits Times commentaries, the Singapore Police Force has pointed out incorrect figures to The Straits Times. The commentaries in question:

  • “How an undergrad challenged NUS’ policy on sexual misconduct”
  • “Monica Baey was my student and I’m proud of her”

The Problem

Both writers relied on information on the NUS student portal, for which the purpose of those documents on the student portal is to establish guidelines for how the university should handle cases.

Incorrect Information in Previous Articles

  • 26 cases of sexual offences from Academic Years 2015/16 to 2017/18 brought before the NUS board
  • 16 cases were reported to the police
  • 13 repeated offenders
  • Comparison of the severity of punishments was made without complete information. Nicholas Lim’s punishment was compared to 53 convictions for first-time offenders who pleaded guilty in the past four years, of which 38 were jailed.

Information, SPF Corrected

  • There were only 25 cases of sexual offences.
  • One of the cases had a double count.
  • There were 17 cases reported to the police.
  • There was only one repeated offender who was prosecuted in court.
  • Inaccurate to compare cases where the accused was charged against someone who was not.
  • In the 17 NUS cases, nine were charged, seven were not, in three years.

What happened in all 25 cases

  • Out of the 17 cases reported to the police:
    • The police performed the prosecution of nine cases in court with the aid of the Attorney-General’s Chambers. Out of the nine, five resulted in jail terms of between 10 days and eight months.
    • The other three accused were given supervised probation.
    • One was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.
  • Seven other cases were given conditional warnings.
  • One case is still under investigation.

In other words, SPF schooled them.

Take Note:

Before you go headhunting anybody for publishing incorrect facts, you have to understand that commentaries are opinions and not meant to be factually correct news.

They probably did not have access to police records, and can only rely on what is available, which is the information in the student portal.

When I was little, I remember that my parents used to say “don’t believe everything you read on the internet”.

That would appear to be the lesson learnt here.