Is Singapore’s morality declining?
The total number of cases of outrage of modesty, or molestation, jumped to 1,610 in 2022, compared with 1,474 in 2021. Almost six in 10 (58.3 per cent) of the cases in 2022 involved culprits known to the victims. Seeing the huge rise in crimes of such nature, and more concerning still that perpetrators could be someone you know, really begs the question – Is Singapore still safe? Or has it become a sex depraved and crazed society? Why the sudden rise? What changed? Perhaps we should study the role of the media in exacerbating and fuelling such depraved desires.
In Part 1, we bare it all – the facts. Look at this list of reported cases in just the last 2-3 years. It is not even an exhaustive list.
Timeline of cases in the past 3 years:
- January 2020, NUS Hostel Voyeur:
A National University of Singapore (NUS) student was sentenced to probation for taking illicit videos of female students in the university’s hostels. The case sparked a public outcry and led to a review of campus security measures and penalties for sexual misconduct in educational institutions.
- July 2022, NUS Tembusu Teaching Staff Case:
Jeremy Fernando, 43, a Singaporean, was alleged to have molested a woman on Jul. 4, 2020, at around 4am. The identity of the victim and the place that the offence was committed cannot be revealed due to a gag order. Court records show that Fernando had allegedly committed the offence at the victim’s residence. If convicted of molestation, Fernando faces a jail term of up to two years, or a fine, or caning, or with any combination of such punishments. As previously reported, Fernando, formerly a non-residential teaching staff and fellow of Tembusu College, was fired after NUS received complaints of inappropriate behaviour from two students.
- August 2020, Grab Driver Case:
A part-time Grab driver was sentenced to nine years in jail and six strokes of the cane for sexually assaulting a female passenger. The case highlighted the importance of ensuring the safety of passengers using ride-hailing services.
- September 2020, Secondary School Teacher Case:
A secondary school teacher was charged with multiple counts of sexual exploitation involving two of his underage students. The case prompted a discussion on the role of educators in ensuring the safety and well-being of their students.
- December 2020, NUS Political Science Chair Professor Case:
A top professor from the National University of Singapore (NUS) was dismissed for sexual misconduct. Professor Theodore G. Hopf, who was the provost chair professor at the department of political science at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, had sexually harassed a student “in physical, verbal and written forms”, NUS said in a statement. It is the second time in two months that NUS has had to sack a faculty member over allegations of sexual misconduct involving students. There was also a third incident involving another professor and a staff member recently.
- January 2020, ITE Rape Case:
A 23-year-old man was charged for the alleged rape of an 18-year-old woman on the campus of the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West. The case led to discussions about campus safety and the need for increased security measures at educational institutions.
- February 2021, Ngee Ann Polytechnic Molestation Case:
A former lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic was charged with multiple counts of outrage of modesty, involving several female students. The case raised concerns about the safety of students and the importance of strict policies and procedures to address and prevent sexual misconduct in educational settings.
- May 2021, Sengkang Estate Case:
A man was charged for sexually assaulting a woman in a Housing & Development Board (HDB) flat in Sengkang. The case served as a reminder of the importance of vigilance in residential areas and prompted discussions about ways to enhance the security of public housing estates.
- November 2021, Hotel Royal Rape Case:
A trio were part of eight people who had gathered in a room at Hotel Royal in Newton Road amid the Covid-19 pandemic on Nov 28, 2021. The group then shared eight bottles of liquor among them, but the teenager did not drink. After a drinking session, a 19-year-old male warehouse assistant carried an unconscious woman into a toilet and a 20-year-old man then raped her. The teenager admitted on Monday that he had abetted by intentionally aiding the man in committing rape.
- March 2022, NTU Staff Serial Voyeur:
While working as a research staff member at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), a Chinese national was caught taking an upskirt photo of a woman at a shopping centre in Orchard Road. During a raid of his home last year, police found similar photos of about 400 women in various locations, including at NTU, various shopping malls and MRT stations. Guo Zhihong was sentenced to 10 months and five weeks’ jail in court on March 21 after he pleaded guilty to two voyeurism charges and one charge of insulting the modesty of a woman.
- April 2022, NUS Former Political Science Professor Case:
A faculty member at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has been sacked after “inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour” towards a student, said the university on Thursday (Apr 28). Several reports have identified the faculty member in question as former associate professor Ethan Putterman, with the university’s political science department.
- June 2022, Junior College Serial Voyeur:
Chua pleaded guilty in July 2021 to several offences of taking upskirt videos and photos, as well as filming his victims showering, from 2015 to 2018. He began targeting his female friends when he was about to graduate from junior college at age 18, escalating his acts throughout his National Service and undergraduate days. His gag order was lifted and he was sentenced to 12 months’ jail and a fine of S$2,500 in June 2022.
- September 2022, Math Teacher Grooming Student:
A 26-year-old mathematics teacher asked his 14-year-old foreign student to be his girlfriend and began a sexual relationship with her, committing multiple sex offences in the process. He told her it was a “natural thing” for couples to have sex and told her not to tell anyone about it as it would harm her reputation and be “terrible” for her if her parents found out.
- October 2022, Allied Educator Serial Boy Molester:
A 38-year-old former allied educator pleaded guilty to molesting 13 schoolboys, who were members of a co-curricular activity (CCA) that he oversaw. He molested several male students in a lab that he treated as his personal staff room. He normalised an environment of inappropriate touching, prosecutors told the court.
- November 2022, Mini Mart Worker Targets Special Needs Student: Sanjay Amreetpal Singh Mohd was working part-time at a minimart when he struck up a conversation with a special needs student. He then offered to buy her perfume and cat food. While they were in line at the cashier, he kissed her over her mask even though they had just met.
- December 2022, Buddhist Missioner Case:
After winning their trust with claims that he was a religious teacher with “a Buddha inside him” or had learnt massage techniques in Thailand, Tan Soh Kwan molested two young women on separate occasions at Fort Canning Park.
- December 2022, Bank Teller Serial Voyeur:
A 43-year-old bank teller used his phone to film at least 387 upskirt photos of women. He was caught taking an upskirt video at Marina Bay Sands, but the victim was later revealed to be a man in a dress. Leonard Tan Song Hui was jailed for eight months on Monday, Dec. 5, after he pleaded guilty to two counts of insulting a woman’s modesty and one count of harassment.
- January 2023, MOM Officer Molestor:
After spotting a girl and her younger brother at a playground, an MOM officer followed them home and molested the girl. Her parents were not at home at the time and he refused to leave the premises despite the girl telling him that her parents had instructed her not to let strangers in their home. He showed the girl some photographs he had taken of her at the playground then reached towards her and groped her chest.
- January 2023, Deliveryman Molestor:
While on his way to deliver items, deliveryman Muhammad Fairuz Abdul Ghani entered a lift with a woman, followed her home and molested her twice. This was at a time that he was under investigation for committing a similar offence.
- April 2023, Basin Violence Rapist:
A man who raped a 52-year-old woman in a toilet after hitting her head against the wall and a wash basin was sentenced to 12 years’ jail and 16 strokes of the cane.
- April 2023, Teen Boy Beastiality:
Teenage boy does unspeakable things to a random cat he finds at a HDB. In the viral video, a male youth could be seen pulling down his pants and humping the cat’s behind. Despite the cat scuttling away, he lifted the cat and continued humping the cat.
- May 2023, Wife Sharing Case:
A man conspired with five others to have his own wife drugged and raped over a period of eight years. He also conspired with two men to rape their wife or ex-wife. They also spoke of plans to get their wives raped and impregnated by other men.
- May 2023, Staircase Baby Case:
A 23 year old man pushed a pram with a 6 week old baby in it down a flight of stairs as the baby cried before he and his girlfriend could have sex at the staircase landing.
- May 2023, Drug and Rape Case:
A 26-year-old man decided to rape his platonic female friend of the same age after they stayed in the same flat for around half a year. The first time he spiked her drink with a date-rape drug, she managed to resist during her stupor right before he was going to rape her. She could not remember what had happened exactly the next day even though her underwear was strewn on the ground, but she decided to trust him because they were close friends. He tried doing the same thing two months later. After considering four other charges, a High Court judge sentenced him on Apr. 3 to 17 years in jail and 14 strokes of the cane.
What say you? How do you feel? Should Forward Singapore discuss this? Is it time we do a little sexposure of the deeper issues?
These are real concerns and highly relevant to A Level GP topics of Society, Media and even Technology.
Till Part 2.
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