Young and not so innocent?

This article was taken from The New Paper dated July 30, 2009. The headline was ‘Teen sold himself for money’

He wanted to look good and dress well. So the teenager, then aged 15, decided to get money from strangers, offering ‘paid fun’.

His mother knew nothing about his prostitution, though she did notice that he wore expensive clothes and had lots of money. But an anonymous phone call out of the blue revealed the unpleasant truth in May 2007. After she confronted her son and learnt what he was up to, she lodged a police report on 18 May that year.

According to court documents, the boy had been chatting with strangers on social networking websites since he was in Primary 3. He came across a website popular with homosexuals here five years ago and later started posting messages and chatting there.

In December 2006, as he needed money to ‘maintain his lifestyle’, the boy posted messages on the website saying he was ‘seeking paid fun’. The boy cannot be named due to a court order.

Age revealed upon meeting

 

 

On the website, he said he was 16, but he revealed his real age to anyone he met personally or chatted with on the telephone.

A month or two after the boy posted the messages, Thomas Song Choon Chen, 37, responded and agreed to pay him $50 in exchange for sexual favours. The boy told Chen his address and they met at the boy’s home at 9am the same day.

When Chen arrived at the flat, the boy, who was in school uniform, told him he was actually 15 years old. After leading Chen to his bedroom, the boy undressed himself. Chen then performed sexual acts with the boy and paid the boy later and left. Chen kept in touch with the boy for some time, but the relationship later ended.

Assistant nurse Muhammad Hafashah Mohd Aslam, now 21, got to know the boy online through the same website around February 2007. The boy offered sexual services and Muhammad Hafashah agreed.

After meeting at the void deck of Muhammad Hafashah’s HDB flat in Jurong West, they went to a community centre nearby. They then went to a toilet for the handicapped there. After the sexual acts, they both cleaned up and went to an ATM nearby, where Muhammad Hafashah withdrew $100 to pay the boy.

In January 2007, Victor Ng Yong You, 25, got to know the boy via the website. The boy offered sexual services to Ng in exchange for a lift to Wisma Atria. Ng agreed and he went to pick up the boy.

Before heading to Wisma Atria, Ng drove him to an underground carpark in Bukit Merah to engage in sexual acts. The two later went to Wisma Atria and Ng then dropped the boy at the boy’s girlfriend’s home. Neither Muhammad Hafashah nor Ng kept in touch with the boy after the acts.

 

 Pleaded guilty

Yesterday, Muhammad Hafashah, Ng and Song, pleaded guilty in the Subordinate Courts to one charge each of performing obscene acts with the teen.

They and three other men were earlier charged with committing unnatural offences under sections 377 and 377A of the Penal Code, but the charges were later reduced to committing obscene or indecent acts under the Children and Young Persons Act. Muhammad Hafashah and Ng each had one other charge, which was taken into consideration.

Another man, Quek Hock Seng, 42, pleaded guilty in January to one charge and was sentenced to four months’ jail.The cases of two other men – Ng Geng Whye, 50, and Balasundram Suppiah, 40 – will be heard next month.

In his mitigation plea, Muhammad Hafashah’s lawyer, Mr S Balamurugan, said his client went to the website as he was confused about his sexual orientation then. This led him to commit the offence, which was his first, Mr Balamurugan said.

He said his client, who had since undergone counselling, was now in a relationship with a young woman, and had been accepted for a nursing course at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Mr Balamurugan urged District Judge Sarjit Singh to consider probation for him.

Judge Singh asked for a pre-sentence report on Muhammad Hafashah, and his case will be heard again on 26 Aug. Ng and Song will be sentenced on 5 Aug. Anyone guilty of committing obscene or indecent acts with a child or young person can be jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.  They can be jailed up to four years and fined up to $10,000 for each subsequent offence

I don’t understand. Is the teen not guilty at all?. He was the one who instigated the men for sexual favours. To me, when I read the article, I felt that the teen was as guilty as the men who got charged. I mean what if he /she influence their friends to do the same thing?

This article was taken from Youth.SG :

All children will be protected from sexual exploitation under a new law. The Home Affairs Ministry is proposing new laws to punish those who operate, promote or go on child sex tours. It also aims to protect young people and those with mental illness from sexual exploitation.  But it is also leaving sexual conduct between consenting adults private. The Ministry is also proposing to repeal four laws which have become irrelevant or archaic. The proposed changes are in line with Singapore’s push for a more open, compassionate society.

Maybe its time for Singapore to introduce a law which punishes minors who prostitute themselves?. How can we have a ‘more open, compassionate society’ when a kid grows up to be a prostitute?.

 

 

 

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8 Comments

Filed under Teenage Prostitutes

8 responses to “Young and not so innocent?

  1. As I’ve said on both Twitter and FB, I disagree with your viewpoint. The wrong questions are being asked here, and rather than apportioning blame we should look at the cause and go from there.

    I also think the teen should not be punished; he was 15, and clearly thought this was a good idea. Where were his parents? Why did he need to live a lifestyle beyond his means? Why did the men agree, despite knowing he is 15 years old?

    If the article proves anything, it’s the way TNP tried to sell this sad story as a salacious and sensational headline.

    • tauhuayboy

      Ok, If the teen shouldn’t be punished, what do you suggest can be done so that the teen knows that selling his body is not the only way to earn money?

      I don’t think his parents can be blamed. Saying this from someone who disobeyed his parents throughout his teenage years, I feel that if you don’t tell your parents anything, or at least open your mouth to ask things from them, parents will always be in the dark and we can’t blame them.

      Again, this is all speculation. I agree with you that the men knowingly committed the crimes BUT there’s no smoke without the fire.

      • Note: The following is pure opinion as this story is sorely lacking in journalistic depth and factual corroboration.

        “There is no smoke without fire”; take that metaphor further. Where did the fire come from? It needs oxygen, heat and fuel. Without even a single one of these elements, there would not be a fire.

        “養不教,父之過;教不嚴,師之惰” comes to mind here. Parents have an obligation and responsibility to teach their kids what is right, and what is wrong. I’m not advocating tight parental control. We all know how well that works.

        But to say the parents are not to be blamed is wrong. There’s a reason why we don’t allow minors to vote, because most can’t tell a good decision from a bad one. It’s about time parents start taking responsibility for raising their kids and not leaving that to the schools, government, or maids.

        Also, the men knew what they were getting into. They took advantage. They were the ones who perpetrated the crime, and did so in full knowledge of the law, and responsibilities that are rightfully exercised by adults. That is why they should be punished.

      • tauhuayboy

        @Callan
        I agree that the men should be punished. But who approached them first? It was the boy! So you are saying the boy is not guilty?.

        Yes. The parents should be responsible for their kid’s upbringing. But it takes two hands to clap. What can a parent do when a child refuses to tell the parent anything?.

      • The real question is what have the parents done, or not done, to impress a strong moral compass on their own children?

        I don’t expect anyone to tell their parents everything. That is an unrealistic expectation. But is it too much to expect more from adults? Is it too much to expect the men who used the boy to stop themselves from doing so? Is it too much to expect that the men know better than the boy?

        On the other hand, while I applaud your view that minors should be more mature than that, coming from a guy who has gone through that awkward age of puberty and isn’t too old ro forget it, I can tell you now, what a difference 10 years make.

        And I can tell you that I was young and stupid at that age. The boy made that mistake: being young and stupid. The men took advantage. The parents didn’t care enough. It still comes down to the adults.

        Rather than lamenting lost innocence of today’s kids, and how much makeup they put on, or wearing short skirts, what other productive thing are the adults doing?

        Nothing. And that’s the real tragedy that we place on the future generation.

  2. seann_

    the problem really lies with society, and i agree with callan there. the media finds different ways and means to sell their stories, even at the expense of the individuals associated with the issue.

    that being said, there’s still a lesson to be learnt in all this. children should be protected no doubt, and the government should help the family unit out in this aspect if possible.

    btw, i dun understand the last question that you put up ><

    • tauhuayboy

      Lol. Ok. By ‘Open’, I meant like what is the teen going to tell his kids if this issue comes up again in the future? That its ok to sell ur body, because Daddy did the same thing and got away with it?.

      I would also like to ask you what do you suggest can be done so that the teen knows that selling his body is not the only way to earn money?

  3. hmm. wahh. its like so… oh my.. i so totally cannot believe what on earth is happening to the people around lurh. so stupid, like born without a brain. tsk3.

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