A 27-year old storekeeper on Friday became the first person here to do jail time for sexual grooming, under laws introduced two years ago to guard young people from sexual predators.
Loh Kuat Fung, from Sarawak in Malaysia, was jailed a year each on two charges accusing him of arranging to ‘meet a minor with the intention of committing a sexual offence with the minor’.
These sentences were ordered to run concurrently. He will also have to serve another six months in prison for allowing one of his young victims to consume alcohol in a hotel room he rented.
The sexual grooming law was incorporated into the Penal Code in February 2008 to protect minors against sexual abuse. The worry was that predators were increasingly seeking out their victims online, to lure them into the real world for sex.
The law allowed for such predators to be nabbed before they succeeded in their attempt. Sex with a minor is a crime punishable with a jail term of up to 20 years, along with a fine or caning.
Loh did not have sex with the girls, although he did his best to do so.