Tan Soh Kwan, 59, an odd-job labourer at Fort Canning Park molested two female students. He claimed he had “the Buddha” in him and sensed one of the victim’s unhappiness. He told her that she had “a lot of thoughts and a sad heart,” but the student said she was happy.

Tan insisted and added she had been facing “love problems” the past few days. It appears he guessed correctly, and the student began to trust him. They went to another bench, sat down crossed-legged and faced each other.

He introduced himself to a 20-year-old French student taking a walk in the park on Sept 12, 2021. They began talking about the park’s attractions, and Tan showed the student around the area. He also claimed having visited Thailand and received Buddhist teachings.

Tan then led the student to a bench, where they sat down crossed-legged and faced each other. Tan said he had a Buddha inside him, and he took the student’s hands before chanting. Tan suddenly hugged the student and touched her eyebrow and neck, reported Channel News Asia.

He placed his hand on the woman’s chest and began chanting for two minutes before giving her shoulders and back a massage. He also asked her to turn around before hugging her; his lower body touching her buttocks.

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The student felt uncomfortable and moved away, saying she felt scared. However, Tan reassured her that he had “the Buddha” inside him and hugged her once more. It was reported that Tan hugged the student so tightly that she felt his chest pressed against her.

The student rejected Tan’s offer to crack her back, given she had to sit on his lap, and eventually agreed to lie down on the bench. When she did so, Tan touched her face and neck before kissing her face.

Tan molested the woman and pressed his hands against her belly and leg. She immediately reported the molestation to the police that day.

Tan repeated his actions the following day, still at Fort Canning Park, where he saw two 18-year-old local students. He introduced himself and offered a tour of the park. Tan claimed he learned massage techniques in Thailand and offered to heal their medical ailments.

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He did back-stretching exercises on both girls and asked one to sit on his lap. Tan claimed she had “women’s problems” and proceeded to molest her by touching her abdomen without consent.

He brought the two girls to a nearby hut with a bend and asked the same girl to sit on his lap before placing his hands on her chest also without consent. Tan wrapped his arm around the student’s chest, causing her to stand up quickly. They filed a police report on Sept 14, and Tan was arrested on the same day.

Tan pleaded guilty to two counts of molestation on Thursday (Dec 8). Three other charges were taken into consideration.

The prosecutor asked for 12 to 16 months imprisonment, noting Tam had deceived the victims on two levels. The first was giving them a tour around the park to make them trust him. The second was tricking the first victim by claiming he knew of her problems.

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Tan also progressively took advantage of the students by massaging or “healing” them.

Furthermore, the offences were done in broad daylight in a public park. /TISG

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ByHana O