The provocative Associate Professor, hailed by some quarters as "an icon of the Malay/Muslim community", got off easy.
In 2005 an archaic British colonial sedition law used to fight communist insurgency was deployed to prosecute three ethnic Chinese accused of writing nasty remarks about the minority Malay community.
Edward Jenks (1936), in The Book of English Law, has this to say about sedition:
"This, perhaps the very vaguest of all offences known to the Criminal Law, is defined as the speaking or writing of words calculated to excite disaffection against the Constitution as by law established, to procure the alteration of it by other than lawful means, or to incite any person to commit a crime to the disturbance of the peace, or to raise discontent or disaffection, or to promote ill-feeling between different classes of the community. A charge of sedition is, historically, one of the chief means by which Government, especially at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century, strove to put down hostile critics. It is evident that the vagueness of the charge is a danger to the liberty of the subject, especially if the Courts of Justice can be induced to take a view favourable to the Government."
25-year-old Lim's views expressed on an Internet forum for dog lovers about whether taxis should refuse to carry uncaged pets out of consideration for Muslims were deemed disparaging, and Koh's tone and choice of words were taken to advocate desecrating Islam's holy site of Mecca. A 17-year-old student was also dragged to court to face sedition charges for allegedly making racist comments about Malays on the Internet.
According to court documents, Lim and Koh were accused of committing acts "with a seditious tendency to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different classes of the population of Singapore."
Perhaps Provost Tan managed to nip it in the bud before the "s" word came into play. Perhaps the LGBT community is too small to be considered one of the classes of the population of Singapore. Perhaps the police is just too busy fending off attacks about their poor judgment on the night of the Little India riot.