Principal pleads guilty for obnoxious act

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A high-profile group of 44 men, including lawyers, civil servants, a former principal and several private firm directors were charged in court on 16 April for paid sex with a minor via an online sex ring. Read on for the full story.

The Story

The men charged were aged between 21 and 48. All except two are Singaporeans.

They are said to have paid between S$450 and S$850 for the sexual services; some for a period of as short as 45 minutes. The offences allegedly took place between Sept 23 2010, and Feb 18 2011.

Among those charged is 39 year old Lee Lip Hong, who has been placed under a spotlight because, until last December, he was the principal of Pei Chun Public School. Lee faces two charges of having commercial sex with a girl under 18 and could face a maximum penalty of seven years in jail and a possible fine.

Interestingly enough, Lee has pleaded guilty, while the rest have pleaded otherwise. This stark difference in the case has directed even more attention to Lee. Is this former educator making a last gasp effort at morality?

The debate

A netizen did commend his decision to plead guilty, saying “What’s done cannot be undone.. be a man and stand up”.

Yet others pointed that nothing could cover up the enormity of his crime. A netizen said that he “wonders how his wife and child will react” to a father and a husband who has slept without an underage girl.

Lee had undoubtedly committed his crimes while serving in his school. This brings us to the point that at the time where he was leading a learning institution for the young, he was also engaging in immoral activities with girls who were only a little older. Where does he draw the line? Would his lust and sexual needs remain under control during school hours?

Some netizens argued that his profession does not matter. It was reasoned that as a human being, he was suspect to lust just like other people would.

Would Lee have been able to separate his public and public life, or should the Ministry of Education take extra efforts to ensure their teachers are leading exemplary lives outside the classroom?

Parents, what are your views on this?

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