SINGAPORE: A student affiliated with the National University of Singapore (NUS) recently admitted to illicitly accessing a hostel using his sister’s key card and strategically positioning spy cameras camouflaged as smoke detectors within women’s bathrooms.
Upon his apprehension, authorities uncovered 23 video recordings on his MacBook, featuring five female victims in compromising situations.
The 27-year-old, Ng Yong Kuan, pleaded guilty to charges of criminal trespass and possession of intimate recordings causing potential humiliation.
Two additional charges related to the possession of voyeuristic imagery will be considered during sentencing when he reappears in court on 20 December.
Ng used his sister’s key card to enter the building and install the spy cameras
As reported by Singapore’s media outlet CNA, Ng’s sister, also enrolled at NUS, resided in an exclusive hostel accessible solely to key card holders.
Capitalizing on his sister’s accommodations during house renovations, Ng employed her key card for entry.
In May 2019 and February 2020, Ng acquired two motion-activated spy cameras disguised as smoke detectors.
Initially stumbling upon these devices on Google, he admitted to purchasing them with the intent of clandestinely observing unclothed women.
October 2019 marked Ng’s first intrusion into the women’s hostel toilet between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m.
Using tape, he affixed a spy camera to the ceiling, capturing images of unsuspecting females showering.
A week later, he removed the camera, transferring the footage to his laptop for later viewing or storage.
In February 2020, Ng repeated this invasive act in another women’s toilet within the same building.
He revisited the site a week later to review the captured footage.
Additionally, he discreetly placed spy cameras in toilets on two separate occasions.
Caught in the act: Ng’s fifth intrusion leads to a startling encounter in women’s toilet
On 7 March 2020, Ng embarked on his fifth intrusion, placing a device in a women’s toilet during the early hours.
Returning at 5 am to check on the device and use the bathroom, he triggered an alarming incident.
A 21-year-old NUS student discovered the locked main door upon entering the washroom.
Noticing a strategically placed phone on a ledge, she reported the sighting to a male student.
Unable to open the door, they sought assistance from campus security.
Unlocking the main toilet door, a security officer accompanied the students into the washroom.
All cubicles were accessible, except the one nearest the exit, occupied by Ng.
Despite repeated knocks and requests, Ng remained unresponsive, prompting the security officer to unlock the cubicle using a key.
Inside, Ng was found with a tote bag, leading to his detention by the police.
Subsequent scrutiny of his laptop revealed 23 recordings of five female victims showering.
Addressing inquiries, NUS revealed Ng’s termination in April 2020 following a disciplinary board investigation.
A university spokesperson reiterated NUS’s staunch stance against sexual misconduct and commitment to cultivating a culture of respect on campuses.
The defense requests an assessment of Ng’s suitability for mandatory treatment
During the Tuesday court hearing, the defense sought an evaluation of Ng’s eligibility for mandatory treatment, a proposal contested by the prosecution.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Selene Yap contested the request for a mandatory treatment order suitability report in court, advocating instead for a four to six months’ jail term for Ng.
Emphasizing the significance of deterrence over rehabilitation in this case, she pointed out that Ng’s offenses were not isolated but were meticulously premeditated and recurrent.
DPP Yap underscored the existence of a discernible pattern in Ng’s actions, highlighting his clear goal-directed behaviour, which, in this instance, was focused on surreptitiously observing unclothed women.
Despite arguments to the contrary, she maintained that the weight of Ng’s pre-meditation should not diminish the importance of considering his mental health condition.
In defense of her client, Ms Tan Jun Yin from Trident Law contended that Ng’s psychiatric disorder significantly impaired his judgment and self-control.
She argued that the presence of pre-meditation does not negate the impact of the offender’s compromised mental health.
Regarding the potential legal consequences, Ng faces the possibility of up to two years of imprisonment or fines, or both, for the possession of voyeuristic images or recordings.
Additionally, for the charge of criminal trespass, he could be sentenced to up to three months in jail or fined up to S$1,500 (US$1,113), or both.
Alleged voyeurism incident emerges at NUS in 2019, suspect accused of changing outfit to evade identification
In April 2019, the public became aware of Nicholas Lim Jun Kai’s voyeuristic act, wherein he filmed fellow NUS undergraduate Monica Baey in her student hall of residence bathroom.
Almost a month later, another incident unfolded when a 26-year-old male student was arrested for allegedly committing a similar offense.
The suspect, residing in the same hall of residence as the 23-year-old victim at Raffles Hall, was identified through CCTV footage and subsequent investigations by Clementi Police Division officers.
Despite changing his outfit to avoid detection, the police managed to apprehend him.
Authorities received a call for assistance around 8:10 a.m. on Saturday, revealing that the suspect may have engaged in similar acts in the past.
According to police reports, the university installed a CCTV camera just a day before the incident, capturing crucial footage.
Moreover, the spokesperson stated that NUS is providing dedicated support and assistance to the victim.
In response to the incidents, Raffles Hall is implementing security measures, including the installation of higher-quality CCTV cameras, upgrading shower cubicles and toilet locks to enhance privacy and security, and increasing the frequency of patrol rounds by campus security officers.
The director of campus security, in a safety advisory email to students and staff, emphasized the university’s commitment to accelerating these security enhancements.