‘We can’t be fairweather fans’: Edwin Tong urges S’poreans to back Schooling & Lim to make things right

Culture, Community & Youth Minister Edwin Tong said that both Joseph Schooling and Amanda Lim brought glory to Singapore and now deserve our empathy and understanding to bounce back.

In an Instagram post yesterday (Aug 31), Minister Tong also added that while both admitted to consuming cannabis, it is a serious error of judgement and is something not to be taken lightly.

“They know that they have let Singaporeans down, and, as role models, also disappointed many in the sporting community.”

But he noted that both swimmers have since apologise and were contrite.

Both Schooling and Lim had apologised for their actions on their respective Instagram accounts on Aug 30.

Schooling said that he “demonstrated bad judgement” and “gave in to a moment of weakness after going through a very tough period of (his) life.”

Lim said that she was “deeply sorry” for her actions and “there is no excuse” for it.

“It is a mistake, and we all make mistakes. Facing up to their errors is the first step to a proper rehabilitation. SportSG will also look into this carefully, and determine the appropriate follow on actions,” Minister Tong said.

Acknowledging their contributions to Singapore, the minister urged Singaporeans to get behind the swimmers and not be fairweather fans.

“We all enjoyed the glory that they have brought to our country. In turn, I think they now deserve our empathy and understanding as they seek to bounce back from this difficult episode. I have said before – we cannot be fairweather fans. Let’s get behind our swimmers, and back them to now make it right,” he said.


Olympic champion Joseph Schooling confessed to taking consuming Cannabis in May this year when he was on short-term disruption from full-time National Service (NS) to train and participate in the SEA Games in Hanoi.

Amanda Lim was issued a stern warning by the Central Narcotics Bureau under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

While Schooling’s urine tests for controlled drugs returned negative, Mindef said that it has placed him on an SAF-supervised urine test regime as part of the treatment and rehabilitation process. He was also issued a formal letter of warning. 

The ministry reiterated that the Singapore Armed Forces maintains a strict zero-tolerance policy towards drug abuse.

“All SAF personnel who test positive during this regime will be charged and sentenced accordingly,” Mindef said.

Schooling will no longer be eligible for leave or disruption to train or compete while in NS.

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A post shared by Edwin Tong 唐振辉 (@edwintong)

Cover photo credit: Joseph Schooling and Team Singapore Facebook