Youth voices regarding NUS strangler heard & to be consulted: Senior Minister of State Sim Ann

Sim saw it was a 'positive sign' that the youths care deeply about such issues.

Syahindah Ishak | Andrew Koay | July 21, 2020, 03:02 PM

Singapore's Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth (MCCY) has acknowledged the discussions surrounding a university student who strangled his ex-girlfriend.

Speaking to the media on Jul. 21, Senior Minister of State at MCCY Sim Ann said the ministry would ensure that youth voices on the matter would be heard.

The incident in question involved Yin Zi Qin, a 23-year-old dental student from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

He was sentenced to 12 days of detention, as well as a day reporting order for five months with counselling, and 80 hours of community service.

Yin had strangled his ex-girlfriend who refused to get back together with him, and pressed his thumb firmly against her left eye until it bled.

Evolving norms

His sentencing sparked a conversation about whether the NUS student had gotten off too lightly.

Sim said that the discussion amongst the youth centred on the topic of "whether penalties for offences against women are sufficient and fair".

"They also revolve around the topic of whether rehabilitative prospects should be taken into account in sentencing, and if so, what would be a fair and just way to account for rehabilitative prospects.

It boils down — I think — to whether or not outcomes in these cases have been able to keep up with evolving norms and expectations in society."

The Senior Minister of State said that it was a "positive sign for society" that the young people were ready to be part of the process, and that they cared deeply about such issues.

Youth to be consulted

Her statement followed that of home affairs and law minister K Shanmugam, who announced that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will be conducting a review on certain criminal cases.

Sim told the media that she was "heartened" by Shanmugam's desire to consult stakeholders in the process of the review.

"Here at MCCY and also the National Youth Council, we intend to ensure that youths are very well represented amongst the stakeholders who are going to be consulted."

She also encouraged young people who had been following the issue and voicing their thoughts to join discussions that will be organised by MCCY and the National Youth Council.

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