A Singaporean man was fined SGD $3,500 ($2,530) on Friday for an online post asking for “permission to open fire” on the LGBT community back in June.
Pleading guilty to “making a threatening, abusive or insulting communication under the Protection from Harassment Act” in court, 36-year-old Bryan Lim Sian Yang received a reduced sentence instead of getting jail time. He could’ve also been slapped with a maximum fine of up to SGD $5,000 ($3,614), the Straits Times reported.
Lim, who is a performance consultant for Canon, was initially charged with “encouraging violence against the LGBT community,” an offense that could have landed him a maximum of five years in jail plus a fine.
He made a comment on the Facebook page of a local group opposed to an annual LBGT community rally called Pink Dot.
Lim allegedly wrote: “I am a Singaporean citizen. I am a NSman, I am a father. And I swore to protect my nation.
“Give me the permission to open fire. I would like to see these £@€$^*s die for their causes.”
Lim expressed his hateful comment on the Facebook page “We Are Against Pink Dot In Singapore,” a public group with more than 7,500 members.
After his post went viral and was widely circulated on social media, at least three separate police reports were filed. Local authorities reportedly confiscated Lim’s personal computer, laptop and smartphone.
His comments generated even more concern after the June 12 shooting at a gay nightclub in the United States that took the lives of 43 people.
Lim a married man, took down his hate post eventually and posted an apology online.
“I apologise for the misunderstanding. My words were strong. I did not mean anyone. I meant Bloomberg and foreign intervention in local matters,” he said.
“This was taken out of context. I hope this clears the air. I did not mean physical bullets or physical death. I mean ‘open fire’ in debate and remove them from Singapore domestic matters.”
Adrian Wee, Lim’s legal counsel, said: “He has had his career, reputation and livelihood irretrievably tarnished by this event.”
While rarely enforced, same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Singapore.