Skip to main content



Man gets jail for molesting 2 women at Fort Canning Park

SINGAPORE — After winning their trust with claims that he was a religious teacher with “a Buddha inside him” or had learnt massage techniques in Thailand, Tan Soh Kwan molested two young women on separate occasions at Fort Canning Park.

A view of Fort Canning Park.

A view of Fort Canning Park.

Follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.
  • Tan Soh Kwan was sentenced to 12 months' jail for molesting two women at Fort Canning Park
  • In both instances, he offered to give his victims a tour of the park
  • He then either claimed to teach Buddhism, or that he knew massage techniques that could heal medical ailments

SINGAPORE — After winning their trust with claims that he was a religious teacher with “a Buddha inside him” or had learnt massage techniques in Thailand, Tan Soh Kwan molested two young women on separate occasions at Fort Canning Park.

On Thursday (Dec 8), the 59-year-old Singaporean was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to two outrage of modesty charges.

Two other similar charges, and another related to the use of criminal force, were taken into consideration in sentencing Tan, an odd-job labourer.

The identities of his two female victims, a French student studying in Singapore and a Singaporean, cannot be revealed due to a court order.

They were aged 20 and 18 respectively at the time of the offences, which took place on two consecutive days in September last year.


Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Hidayat Amir told the court the incident involving the French student happened at around 4.45pm on Sept 12 when she was visiting Fort Canning Park.

During her walk, she met Tan who introduced himself to her, and they began talking about the attractions at the park before he offered to show her around, DPP Hidayat said.

At some point, Tan said that he had been to Thailand, and claimed that he taught Buddhist teachings.

Stating that “he had a Buddha inside him”, Tan took the student to a nearby bench where he held her palms together and started to chant.

After that, they started conversing and Tan told the student that she has a “lot of thoughts and a sad heart”.

When the student replied that she was happy, Tan said that she had a “love problem” the last few days.

Since she had indeed been facing such a problem in the last few days, the student started to trust Tan, DPP Hidayat said.

Tan then told the student to follow him to another bench where they sat cross-legged, facing each other.

While they were talking, Tan suddenly hugged the student without warning and began touching her eyebrow and neck. He also placed his hand on the student’s chest and started to chant for about two minutes.

He then told the student that he would give her a massage and took that opportunity to hug her from behind, which made the student move away from him because she was uncomfortable.

However, Tan told her not to be scared because he had “the Buddha in him” and then he hugged her tightly.

Tan went on to say that he wanted to “crack (the victim’s) back” and instructed her to sit on his lap, but she did not agree to that.

Instead, she agreed to lie down on a bench and Tan took this opportunity to kiss and touch her inappropriately.

That evening, the student made a police report about being molested by Tan.


The next day, Tan was again at Fort Canning Park when he met two Singaporean teenagers, who were both friends with each other and aged 18 at the time.

He similarly offered to take the girls for a tour around the park, which they accepted.

During this supposed tour, Tan said that he had learnt massage techniques in Thailand and that he could assist them to heal their medical ailments.

Among other acts, Tan helped the girls to perform several back-stretching exercises.

At a nearby bench, he asked one of the teenagers to sit on his lap. She agreed and did so with her back facing him.

Tan then held onto her waist with both hands and massaged her back before he touched her inappropriately on her chest.

He then got her to stand to help her in performing some stretching exercises and proceeded to get her to sit beside him, which was when he told her that she had “women’s problems” before he touched her exposed belly.

Tan then led his victim and her friend to a nearby hut with a bench and told his victim to sit on his lap again, which she complied. The man again touched her chest inappropriately.

Court documents stated that Tan had also molested the other Singaporean teenager, but this is the subject of one of the charges taken into consideration.

In none of these instances did the two friends and the French student in the earlier encounter consent to Tan touching them inappropriately.

The two Singaporean teenagers filed a police report after 1am on Sept 14 and Tan was arrested that same day.

Anyone found guilty of outrage of modesty can be punished with a jail term of up to three years, or fined, or caned, or receive any of these combinations.

Related topics

court crime molest Fort Canning Park

Read more of the latest in



Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.