Corpun file 1219
The New Paper, Singapore, 3 July 1997
Fortune teller who molested teenager 9 times
By Alethea Lim
JAILED: Ong Huat Kok, a father of two, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to three molest charges.
He scared me into believing that if I didn't have the rites performed on me, I'll die in some tragic accident. I kept quiet about the times he molested me because I really believed that the spirit would haunt me if I said anything
- The teenage victim.
HER superstition made her an easy victim to the fortune-teller's tales.
It also made her helpless to speak out when the man began harassing her sexually.
Reason: He had told her that his "rites" would not work -- and would land her in trouble -- if she told anyone about them.
Fortune-teller Ong Huat Kok's "rites" consisted of molesting the teenager nine times at his Jurong East flat and office in September and October last year.
He had trapped her with a tall tale. He told her that the spirit of her friend's mother would haunt and harm her unless he helped her.
The 18-year-old operator swallowed his lies.
She believed him so completely that she suffered in silence for two months.
The teenager, who is from Malaysia, said that a friend had introduced her to Ong last August.
During one of the "rites" which was held in his office, Efa Trading, in Block 214 Jurong East Street 21 on Sept 9 last year between 9.30 pm and 10.30 pm, Ong pressed his victim's breasts when her eyes were closed.
On the same night, he had also touched her Malaysian friend, 24, on her chest, claiming he was getting rid of her mother's spirit.
Then on Oct 10 at 3 pm, Ong took the teenager to his flat. He blindfolded her, saying that she was not supposed to see "evil things".
He then undressed and rubbed himself against her.
The teenager did not say anything to her room-mates until her friend revealed that she was molested by Ong two months later.
Ong Huat Kok, a father of two, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to three molest charges. Seven other charges were taken into account.
He was jailed two years yesterday and ordered to be given nine strokes of the cane.
The maximum penalty for molest is two years' jail or caning or a fine, or any two of the punishments.
Corpun file 1237
The Straits Times, Singapore, 20 July 1997
Jail and caning for robbers who hit victim's head with bat
THREE men arrested at a roadblock were found to have robbed a businessman of almost $35,000 in cash and property, and bashed him on the head with a baseball bat.
Officers from Tanglin Police Division stopped the three along Thomson Road when they saw that the front number plate of their car was slightly loose, Inspector Kaka Singh, a police prosecutor, told a district court on Friday. The policemen then found that another number plate had been stuck over the original one with adhesive tape.
The trio's car had grazed a car driven by Mr Chew Phit Seng, 34, along the Ayer Rajah Expressway at about 3.45 am on May 3. Mr Chew, director of six food and drinks establishments, had the day's takings with him.
He stopped at the road shoulder to check his car and as he was about to get his handphone from the car, one of the robbers, Lai Min Seng, 31, hit him on the head with a baseball bat.
Mr Chew lost consciousness and the trio stole his belongings, including $31,337 in 14 envelopes.
On Friday, two of the robbers -- Lai, a shop assistant, and Foo Yong Meng, 27, unemployed -- were each sentenced to a total of 14 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane after they pleaded guilty to robbery with hurt and three other offences. Nine other charges were considered for sentencing.
The third man's case is pending.
When they were stopped at the roadblock, the police found three knives, five pairs of gloves, two baseball bats, four masks and 14 envelopes with $31,337 and US$15 (S$21).
Lai had previous convictions for causing hurt with a dangerous weapon, mischief, moneylending and drug possession.
The maximum penalty for the offensive weapons charge is three years' jail while armed robbery is punishable with up to 14 years' jail. They could have been jailed for up to 20 years for robbery with hurt.
Corpun file 1234
The Straits Times, Singapore, 22 July 1997
Chinese national gets jail and cane for rape and kidnap
By Lim Seng Jin
THREE men, all Chinese nationals, kidnapped a 26-year-old karaoke lounge hostess, also a Chinese national, and demanded 300,000 renminbi (S$50,000) from her family in China for her release.
One of the men, Han Liu Bin, 25, also raped her before she managed to escape two days later from the hotel room where she was held.
Han pleaded guilty in the High Court yesterday and was sentenced to a total of 10½ years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for his three crimes.
He was jailed 18 months for his part in confining the hostess in the hotel room and for demanding a ransom from her family.
He was sentenced to six years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane for hurting her while he and the other two men were robbing her of $1,500 in cash and jewellery.
He was sentenced to nine years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane for raping her. His jail terms for rape and wrongful confinement of the hostess are to run consecutively, while the jail term for hurting her is concurrent.
Three other charges were considered during sentencing -- one each for rape, molest and overstaying in Singapore illegally.
The court heard that at 10 pm last Dec 26 the three men -- Han, Yu Daichao and Liping -- went to a karaoke lounge in Hotel Royal along Newton Road.
At 1.30 am, Liping invited two of the hostesses there to join them for supper. His plan was to bring the two women to Guillemard Hotel in Lorong 18 Geylang, after supper.
When they were all inside the hotel room an hour later, Han and Yu pinned the 26-year-old hostess down on the bed and stuffed a sock inside her mouth. The other hostess tried to help, but Liping threatened to kill her. The men let the second hostess go later that day.
Han and Yu tied the 26-year-old hostess up with masking tape, and covered her mouth with the tape. All three men then robbed her of her jewellery. Liping also took her handbag containing $140 cash.
Liping forced her to call her relatives in China, who were told to deliver 300,000 renminbi to a hotel in China. After several calls, he agreed to accept half the sum, to be delivered by 10 am on Dec 29. The woman also had to pay another $10,000 here upon her release.
Six hours before the deadline, Han raped the woman. She managed to escape in the morning when both Han and Yu were asleep.
Yu has been dealt with in court, while Liping is still at large.
Corpun file 1252
The New Paper, Singapore, 30 July 1997
By Alethea Lim
The penalty for molest is two to 10 years' jail and caning.
I screamed and ran home. I was dazed and confused. At first I didn't want to report him. I thought of his children's fate if he went to jail.
- Madam Lee
| A cable layer molested his married neighbour and then claimed that he was having an affair with his victim. His appeal was thrown out by the High Court yesterday.
HIS wife sent their neighbour some food. The man used it as an excuse to molest the woman.
As if that was not enough, Seow Fook Thiam told the court that he had been having an affair with Madam Lee (not her real name).
Seow's "proof": A polite chat that Madam Lee had had with his wife.
Madam Lee, 34, had told Seow's wife that she gave birth to her child through a Caesarean operation.
But when Madam Lee accused Seow of molest, he told the court that he had been intimate with her. So intimate that he even knew she had 24 stitches on her abdomen because of her Caesarean.
He wanted to convince the court that she had not resisted his advances.
Madam Lee told The New Paper yesterday: "I never spoke to him about it. His wife asked about the birth of my third child and I told her about the operation."
The housewife added that though they were neighbours for about eight years, they never spoke until two years ago.
After they became friendly, Seow's wife made some bubur chacha for Madam Lee and her children.
On Oct 8, 1996, the day of the molest, Seow told Madam Lee that he wanted the disposable container back.
Said Madam Lee: "That was the first time his wife had given us food. I thought it was a kind gesture. But I told him I threw the container away. Then he followed me."
Seow then pulled her towards him at the staircase landing and hugged and grabbed both her breasts.
"I screamed and ran home. I was dazed and confused. At first I didn't want to report him. I thought of his children's fate if he went to jail."
But Seow thought nothing of dragging her name through mud. His lawyer produced two witnesses to claim they had seen them behaving intimately in public.
Said the furious housewife: "What rubbish! If I was having an affair, would I be so open about it? If I was in love with him, would I have the heart to report him to the police?"
Fortunately, she said, her husband did not believe his lies -- and neither did the judge.
ON June 16, Seow Fook Thiam, a father of two, was jailed 2 years and ordered to be given six strokes of the cane.
District Judge Tay Yong Kwang then said: "The accused's attempts to save himself by casting totally unfounded aspersions on (the victim's) character were extremely wicked. It was fortunate for him that the relationship between (her) and her husband has not be damaged by his blatant lies..."
Yesterday, Chief Justice Yong Pung How dismissed Seow's appeal and confirmed the sentence.
He said it was "malicious and wicked" of Seow to adopt such a "dangerous" defence.
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Article: Judicial caning in Singapore
Archive 1997: Singapore