Dear A.S.S. Editor
A professor at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) pleaded guilty to shoplifting yesterday after he was caught stealing repeatedly from service stations he frequents. The professor, 55 year old Er Meng Joo, shoplifted items worth $453.35 between Jan 9 and 29, last year. He is a professor in electrical and electronic engineering, and had won multiple awards at the university.
The professor stole items such as air fresheners and toiletries from two NTUC FairPrice outlets at Esso service stations at Bukit Timah and Dunearn roads. Just what drove a top award winning professor, who probably earns more than enough to actually pay for his stolen items, to go around and shoplift? Too stressed until he suffers from a mental breakdown?
Professor Er Men Joo has earned many accolades and served as a member of the university’s Senate Steering Committee from 2010 to 2012, according to details NTU posted on its website. He clinched the Most Zealous Professor of the Year Award in 2009 and five years later, the Outstanding Mentor Award. Er has also won the Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES) Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award twice, in 2011 and 2015. He also received the IES Prestigious Publication Award in Theory in 2001.
Even after so many awards and accolades, pressure still got to him.