NUS grad contributes to school's sterling reputation for sexual-related crimes

Mar 24, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership

A National University of Singapore (NUS) graduate, who returned to his alma mater in January 2019, trespassed into a female student's hostel room and stole her sex toy as he felt aroused when he saw it.

Products specialist Chua Chang Rong, now 27, trespassed into the woman's room again on July 18 that year and returned it.

Four days later, he sent her lewd texts on messaging platform Telegram asking if they could be "friends with benefits".

He also told her: "I already know your dirty little secret... let me know in advance if you (want to) take up my offer."

Chua pleaded guilty in a district court on Tuesday (March 23) to one count each of criminal trespass, theft and harassment. The woman cannot be identified due to a gag order.

What happened

The Singaporean got to know the 22-year-old victim through Instagram when he was still an NUS student.

He started following her on the platform as he found her attractive. The woman, however, did not know him.

The woman went overseas from late December 2018 to mid-January 2019 and posted about her travels on Instagram.

Sneaked into woman's room twice

Chua knew the woman was overseas based on her Instagram posts in early January 2019.

In early 2019, he then went to look for her room in the university hostel, as he knew from his time in NUS, that most students did not lock their room doors and had their names on the doors.

To gain entry, he tailgated a student to enter the hall.

Once he found the victim's room via her name on the door, which was unlocked, he entered the room.

He looked through her personal belongings, including her lingerie.

He became sexually aroused when he found a S$40 vibrator in the drawer and took it.

The woman came back from overseas and found her sex toy missing, but thought that she had misplaced it so she bought new ones.

Several months later on July 18, 2019, Chua returned to her room at around 11.30am. He knew the woman was away at work based on a picture she uploaded online.

He noticed that the woman had two new sex toys in a box.

He put back the one that he had earlier taken and snapped a picture of the woman's resume before leaving, the court heard.

Offered to be "friends with benefits"

Feeling sexually aroused again, Chua reached out to her via Telegram four days later and sent her the lewd messages. He did not reveal his identity when asked and instead referred to himself as "Bobby".

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Li Yihong said Chua contacted the victim as he became sexually aroused from thinking about how he had entered the victim's room and looked through her belongings, CNA reported.

Chua messaged the victim to tell her he wanted to "surprise" her by returning her vibrator.

He also said he saw the new sex toys she had bought.

Chua then asked the victim if she wanted to be friends with benefits "since I already know your dirty little secret".

He also told her that they could "get to know each other real well", as he offered himself whenever she wanted to be "satisfied".

Police report made

The woman returned to her room that evening and found the sex toy which he had earlier stolen.

The victim was alarmed and did not reply to Chua's messages.

She felt very scared because Chua said he had entered her room without her knowledge.

She alerted NUS' campus security and lodged a police report on July 26, 2019.

Security reviewed closed-circuit television footage and spotted Chua entering her room.

Mental health issues

Chua is represented by lawyer Raphael Louis who told the court on Tuesday that his client was diagnosed with "adjustment disorder with depressed mood".

The court then called for a report to assess Chua's suitability for a mandatory treatment order. Such an order means offenders will have to undergo treatment to address their mental issues in lieu of a jail term. Chua will be sentenced on May 7.

For theft, an offender can be jailed for up to seven years and fined.


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This commentator thinks MCI ad should not have featured poor Malays

May 12, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership
A Hari Raya advertisement by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) was 'cancelled' by certain netizens online for depicting lower income Malays according to reality.

"Message for Syawal", a two-and-a-half-minute video published last month (Apr 30) captures moments in the life of a low-income Malay family living in a rental flat.

Storyline


Pictured: Screenshot from MCI video "Message for Syawal"

The video, which is peppered with Malay proverbs, shows the family moving out of their rental flat to a new home several years later where they celebrate Hari Raya.

The father of the family works as a mover while the mother is a housewife.

Their young son, Syawal, skips school to earn extra income for his family before a teacher flags his absence from school to his parents.

The mother in the video later decides to return to work to alleviate her family’s financial difficulties while the father gets a new job.


Pictured: Screenshot from MCI video "Message for Syawal"



Why some netizens are outraged

The video sparked backlash online, with some viewers saying that it contained stereotypes about the Malay community.

The stereotypes:
  • The father works as a mover - commonly perceived to be a low-income job
  • The mother is jobless
  • The son plays truant
  • The family lives in a rental flat for low-income earners

Commentator implied that poor Malays shouldn't be portrayed in public to prevent stereotypes


Pictured: Screenshot from Homeground Asia video

A video commentary by The Homeground Asia went further by criticizing how the video propagates the narrative that Malays are poor and lazy, and that the ministry should have created a video that is more relatable to both the less fortunate and the more affluent Malays.

Adi Rahman, one of the interviewees in the video went further by making sweeping assumptions that the ministry lacked cultural intelligence and did not consult the community on the narrative.

Ironically, in talking about inclusivity, Adi implied that the realities of poor Malays should not be shown in public.

For example, his rationale suggested that the video contained characters (the mover, jobless mother and the son who skips school) that contribute to the problem of other races seeing the Malays in a stereotypical and reductive light.

In other words, show the good stuff but not the reality.

Adi even accused the ministry for not consulting the Malays in the vetting of the video narrative.

His accusations were without merit, however, when the Ministry said in a statement (Apr 30) that Malay-Muslim viewers - presumably a focus group - had seen the video prior to its release, and perceived the story to be heart-warming, although some expressed reservations.


Pictured: Adi Rahman - one of the commentators in Homeground Asia video



Stereotyping or masking reality?

The ministry said last month (Apr 30) the video was meant to show "a family’s journey of resilience in facing challenging circumstances and how mutual support and encouragement could nurture the process”.

Other netizens felt it was an overreaction and that low-income families shouldn't be dehumanized in a way that they are removed from the conversation. They felt that the video was a call-to-action for those from the underprivileged to strive for a better life through hard work and seeking help that's already available.

The only missed opportunity in the MCI video was perhaps the suggestion that Malays in low income families living in a rental flat could not celebrate Hari Raya unless they get a flat on their own.

But of course, like Homeground Asia, that is also a sweeping assumption.