Tutor gets jail and caning for molesting students including boy, 8, who called him 'Abang Ikhlas'

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
Jan 16, 2024

A man who was a part-time tutor when he molested his students, including an eight-year-old boy, was sentenced to 27 months’ jail and four strokes of the cane on Jan 16.

On Jan 5, Muhammad Nur Ikhlas Mohd Hashim, 26, pleaded guilty to three charges including two counts of molestation. Two other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

At the time of the offences in 2021 and 2023, Nur was a Singapore University of Social Sciences student and was working as a part-time tutor, earning about $2,000 to $3,000 a month.

In early 2021, he was hired to tutor a 13-year-old boy in science every Saturday evening. The lessons took place in the teenager’s bedroom with the door closed.

In June that year, Nur groped him during a lesson. The teenager did not know how to react and remained silent, and lessons with the offender continued until December 2022.

The second victim was an eight-year-old boy, whom Nur started tutoring in mathematics in October 2022.

The sessions were held in the child’s bedroom with the door left slightly ajar.

The boy’s mother would sit in the living room and look into the bedroom occasionally.

In earlier proceedings, Deputy Public Prosecutor Claire Poh said the boy addressed the offender as “Abang Ikhlas”, or “ Brother Ikhlas” in Malay, and they were on good terms.

After a month, the boy’s mother noticed that Nur would rub her son’s back and poke him in the body, but she did not think much of the behaviour.

Between January and February 2023, Nur began placing the victim on his lap.

DPP Poh had said that Nur was trying to get the victim to become accustomed to physical contact so that the boy would let his guard down when Nur molested him.

On Feb 26, 2023, Nur touched the boy inappropriately while the latter was doing his homework.

Stunned, the boy did not know what to do and continued with his work. Nur then molested him again that day.

When the lesson ended, the boy told his mother about what had happened. She fired Nur that day, but did not lodge a police report.

The third victim was a 13-year-old boy, and Nur taught him mathematics and science from March 2022.

The lessons, which took place every Sunday afternoon, were conducted in the boy’s bedroom with the door closed.

The Secondary 2 student, who was shy and introverted, noticed that Nur liked to caress his thigh.

When Nur molested him on March 26, 2023, the shocked boy moved away from him.

DPP Poh had earlier said: “(The victim) was initially reluctant to report the accused’s actions to his family. On April 1 that year, he plucked up the courage and told his mother.”

The victim’s sister lodged a police report two days later. The other offences came to light during police investigations.

For molesting a person below 14 years of age, an offender can be jailed for up to five years, fined, caned, or receive any combination of such punishments.

The Straits Times

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