Girl posted about being raped on Instagram, now dad jailed for trying to rape her twice when she was 4

Selina Lum
The Straits Times
Jan 29, 2024

A 38-year-old man who twice tried to rape his daughter when she was four to five years old was sentenced to 13 years’ jail and 16 strokes of the cane on Jan 29.

The man, a Malaysian who used to work as a food server at a hospital, had earlier pleaded guilty to two charges of attempted rape. The two incidents took place a few weeks apart in 2013.

Three other charges – one for molesting the girl in 2013 and two for taking photographs of her genitalia while she was sleeping during the Covid-19 circuit breaker from April 7 to June 1 in 2020 – were taken into consideration during sentencing.

In handing down the sentence, Justice Pang Khang Chau took into account the extreme youth of the victim, the severe psychological harm caused to her, that the offences were premeditated, and that the man came close to completing the offences.

The first attempted rape occurred while the victim’s mother was at work and the man was taking care of the girl and her two younger brothers.

The man told the victim to follow him to a bedroom, locked the door, and tried to rape her after passing her his mobile phone for her to watch videos.

A few weeks later, while the victim’s mother was not at home, the man again tried to rape the girl after asking her to follow him into the bedroom.

Prosecutors said there were other occasions of attempted rape, but the victim could not give details of these incidents due to the passage of time and her young age.

The girl suspected what her father had done to her was wrong only after she attended a sexuality education talk in Primary 5.

Initially, she did not tell anyone about the abuse as she was afraid her friends would avoid her and that her mother would be left alone to support the family if her father was incarcerated.

In 2021, when she was in Secondary 1, she posted on Instagram about being raped, and also told her best friend that she had been raped.

In January 2022, the victim’s teacher saw cuts on her forearm, and the girl disclosed that she had harmed herself due to “sexual assault”.

The school counsellor and child protection officers from the Ministry of Social and Family Development then interviewed the victim, and took her to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital for a medical examination.

The hospital reported the case to the police on Jan 27, 2022, and the man was arrested on the same day.

The victim underwent 17 counselling sessions between April 12 and Sept 7 in 2022.

In her victim impact statement, the girl, who is now 15, said she felt “bad and guilty” since the police got involved.

She also felt “helpless” that her mother has to bear the family responsibilities and take care of the victim and her brothers on her own.

She said she wanted someone to comfort her, but also felt that she “didn’t deserve” to be comforted.

These emotions caused the victim to harm herself as a form of relief and also to punish herself because she felt she was “a bad person for causing all these”.

“I blamed myself for everything,” she said.



Mental well-being

  • Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222 (24 hours)
  • Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444 (24 hours) /1-767 (24 hours)
  • Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
  • Silver Ribbon Singapore: 6386-1928
  • Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788 
  • Chat, Centre of Excellence for Youth Mental Health: 6493-6500/1
  • Women’s Helpline: 1800-777-5555 (weekdays, 10am to 6pm)


  • TOUCHline (Counselling): 1800-377-2252
  • TOUCH Care Line (for seniors, caregivers): 6804-6555
  • Care Corner Counselling Centre: 6353-1180
  • Counselling and Care Centre: 6536-6366

Online resources

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