It seems like our justice system has decided that molest/outrage of modesty is a trivial offence and a warning will suffice.
Back in 2017, I reported a case of molest. A personal trainer molested me multiple times while pretending it was in the context of exercise.
The police officer Norazlan Abdul Aziz did not believe me and kept shouting at me in the interview room (There is no CCTV). He also lied that it is a brief statement and someone will call to ask for further details, in order to make me sign the statement. Turned out nobody called me and I had to initiate contact.
IO Lee Khum Thong who was initially in charge of the case said, “There will be justice, he will be given a warning“. This led me to believe that most molesters in Singapore are only given warnings. A warning is equivalent to a useless piece of paper which has absolutely no impact on the perpetrator. It will also not be taken into account during trial if he commits an offence again.
He also told me that the prosecutor will be a female and I can tell her about it, but turned out that it is not.
The “investigations” lasted 2 years and there were no updates from them even when the perpetrator was arrested.
My case was passed to another Senior IO called Nurulain Rafiel. When I saw the IO during interview at AGC, she kept trying to chat with me about unrelated things and later asked me “Do you still remember the case?”
Muhammad Sirin, the perpetrator, was let off with a stern warning.
Interview at Attorney General’s Chamber (AGC)
It seems like he convinced the DPP that he used violence on me and molested me because of “wrong idea”. Many victim-blaming questions were asked in order to push the blame to me and to justify his actions.
Honestly at the start of the interview I can already sensed that the DPP Marshall Lim is a misogynist, as he asked me how many times I go to gym per week in a joking manner.
Some questions asked by the then Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Marshall Lim Yu Hui:
1) Were you wearing leggings with your gym shorts?
2) Why didn’t you run away? You had chances.
3) You can always choose to walk away without giving any reason. Like you can walk out of this interview room. But you continued to follow him.
4) People get the wrong idea. Do you think you might have given the wrong idea?
5) Is this your first time being molested?
From my understanding, touching without consent is sexual assault. What kind of wrong idea can make someone so sure that it’s okay to push and touch others? Can I push you to the wall and grope your dick because of wrong idea? Seems like AGC is trying to normalize violence against women. Report a case to realise our authorities are part of the problem.
The interview was also phrased in a way that make me believe they are going to charge him. (DPP kept on saying the questions are not from him but what the defendant lawyer will ask)
They then tried to act like nice people and said that they empathize with victims and I can always reach out to them. Fucking nonsense no updates at all and no replies to emails still have the face to say this.
I asked how long will it take for the results, and they said they don’t know. They cannot even give a time frame. Do they expect people to wait in vain just because they are the “authority”? In fact, they let off the molester Muhammad Sirin within 2 months without informing me.
Notification of result
The IO told me she will call me to inform the result. However, I did not receive any call from her. 7 months later after the perpetrator was released, I submitted a feedback on SPF’s website as IO was not replying my email. She then called me to say that she sent me a letter via normal mail previously. When I said I did not receive, she said: “Alamak, I send you again?”
They were not allow to reveal perpetrator’s name and identity to me in order to protect him. I was confused what the warning is all about, so I asked ASP Wong Jim Mee whether its just a random warning. He laughed for 10s on the phone, told me that the warning is very serious and said: “It is for life, you know?” I will definitely not make any police reports anymore. Only 20% of sexual assault victims report to police. If their purpose is to deter the remaining 20% from reporting, then they have succeeded.
Recently, a student from NUS, Terrence Siow, was given probation for molesting a woman. It is definitely not an outlier case. Some other molesters are given fines, short detention orders etc.
A google review from SACC under AWARE says that sometimes perpetrators are only given verbal warnings. SACC has first hand experience with victims, so I guess it is quite accurate.