Singapore—Fifty-nine-year-old Chan Cheng was found guilty of molesting five teenage boys on July 22, Monday. Mr Chan, who used to be a senior psychology lecturer at the National University of Singapore (NUS), was at large for 17 years.
He escaped to Malaysia in June 1999, after it was discovered that he had molested five teenage boys at a 3-day school camp at the Guillemard Camp in Old Airport Road.
Mr Chan, who was sent back to Singapore at the end of 2016, is facing 7 additional molestation charges involving 4 boys. These charges are still pending.
After standing trial, Mr Chan was found guilty of five counts of molestation by District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan.
The former teacher had been scheduled to appear in court on November 29, 1999, to face the charges against him, but never showed up.
A warrant of arrest was issued against him.
Previous to his arrest, Mr Chan reportedly owned a company called Procamps, whose aim was to help pupils develop good study habits. He also participated in organising camps during school holidays for children.
His victims testified in court about how, while attending the camp in 1999, Mr Chan began to massage his thigh. Later, when the former teacher touched his private parts, the boy moved the teacher’s hand away.
A friend of the victim had seen Mr Chan touch him inappropriately, and testified to having been “shocked” at what he saw.
According to three other victims, Mr Chan had also touched their private parts on the same night.
A fifth man said that he had also been molested by Mr Chan, who had put powder on his genitals pro to the molestation.
A student in Secondary Two also witnessed Mr Chan touching a boy’s genitals.
Another teacher at the camp who discovered Mr Chan’s wrongdoings by talking to the young men involved told the school principal, who in turn filed a police report.
This led to Mr Chan’s arrest on November 27, 1999, with a court date set for two days later.
However, the former teacher was released on bail, and he promptly fled to Malaysia.
Mr Chan’s employment contract was terminated by the NUS due to his failure to report for work.
According to the Deputy Public Prosecutor on the case, James Chew, Mr Chan “appears to be contending that the victims had framed him because of their unhappiness with the harsh, regimental style of the camp, and in particular, because he had conducted a harsh, punishment session on all the campers on the first night”.
He called the former teacher’s allegations “baseless, far-fetched, and has no merit whatsoever”.
Since he faithfully appeared in court in the past two years since he was returned to Singapore, Mr Chan was allowed to get out on bail of S$60,000 and is scheduled to return to court for sentencing next Monday, July 29.
Mr Chan could face a maximum of two years in prison for every molestation charge against him, as well as be made to pay a fine. Since he is older than 50, he cannot be caned for his offences. / TISG
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