Veteran police officer of 23 years doesn't blame TOC for accusing him of bullying Yishun elderly woman

He said he was only focused on helping.

Belmont Lay | May 28, 2021, 03:03 PM

Station Inspector Jeff Lim, 45, a deputy team leader with Yishun South Neighbourhood Police Centre, is at peace with The Online Citizen publication.

The officer, who has been with the police force for 23 years, was one of the officers wrongly accused of bullying an 85-year-old woman in Yishun.

But he told the media on May 28 he does not hold anything against TOC.

This was after the online media platform put up a YouTube video on May 25 containing false allegations that not only had the police not rendered appropriate help, but Lim had even raised his voice at the elderly woman.

The video also showed the elderly woman saying the police did not buy food for her.

It turned out she has dementia.

The incident took place on May 17.

'Cannot control their emotions'

Speaking to the media about TOC, Lim said he "cannot control their emotions".

"Whatever they want to say or think, I cannot control that," he said.

However, he said it was unfair that the video was captioned with false allegations against the officers and was put up on social media to be circulated.

Treated case like any other incident

Lim added that he did not expect the incident to blow up in the first place.

He said he had treated the situation like any other case of helping someone find their way home.

He also advised colleagues who encounter such incidents to not "feel bad and just continue with their daily work" to help others and solve crimes.

"We just try to help those who are in need and try to put a smile on their face," he said.

Lim is known in the police force to be part of a group of officers who frequently raise funds and donate essentials for the underprivileged locally and abroad.

Four police officers at scene not excessive

When asked if four officers attending to an elderly woman was overboard, Lim said: "I'm not worried about all that... Because the concern is on the old lady. We are trying to help her."

With more officers on the scene, the situation can be resolved more quickly, he said.

Police officer did not raise voice

Lim also said he did not raise his voice at any point in time when engaging with the elderly woman.

He was accused in the TOC video of raising his voice, which sounded like he was bullying the elderly woman.

"I did not raise my voice in that incident," Lim said.

He only told the helper to remind the elderly woman to wear a mask outside.

Police went to look for elderly woman's home

On the day of the incident, Lim noticed that the elderly woman could not give her name or her address.

This indicated to him that she might have dementia.

A passer-by then told the police officers the exact address the woman lived.

Two of Lim's colleagues went to the block and floor where the elderly woman lived and went door to door with a photograph of her.

They subsequently found the elderly woman's helper and asked her to follow them.

Bought food for elderly woman

Lim also explained what happened on the ground that day: "Actually I was explaining to the helper that the auntie is not wearing a mask, and I advised the helper to remind the auntie to wear a mask whenever she went out."

Lim said he then sat with the elderly woman to speak with her and found out that she was waiting for friends.

Concerned that she might go hungry, he offered to buy her food.

"She requested for two chicken wings with chilli," he said.

"That's what I bought for her."

He paid for the food, which cost more than S$2, out of his own pocket.

Lim said then offered to go back with her, but she refused.

Felt sad initially

Putting this matter behind him, Lim said: "Nevertheless, we received support from our management, especially from our team. So, I'm glad that the truth is out."

This was despite Lim saying the whole incident was "wrong", and initially feeling "sad" about being accused of bullying an elderly woman.

However, he also reasoned: "But then this whole incident shouldn't stop us from helping members of the public and to carry out our duties."

Lim added that he was unaware that his exchange with the elderly woman and her helper was filmed.

But he accepts that this has become part of the job.


A video was posted on Instagram alleging that police officers had on May 17 confronted an elderly woman in Yishun who was not wearing a mask and continued to "tell her off" even though she had put her mask on.

The police clarified on May 19 that these allegations were untrue.

Officers helped the elderly woman home, and in the process, also bought food for her, police said.

TOC posted a YouTube video on May 25 alleging inaccuracies in the police clarification.

The TOC video questioned Lim's tone of voice and featured an interview with the elderly woman who claimed that officers did not buy her food.

On the same day, the police released a second statement to stand by by its previous clarifications.

The police then released footage from Lim's body-worn camera to prove its version of events.

The release of body-worn camera footage is highly uncommon in Singapore.

Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam slammed TOC's video as "despicable" on the same day.