SINGAPORE — A general practitioner accused of molesting a female patient during an examination claimed he had the impression that the patient’s boyfriend later asked him for money for the alleged act.
Dr Lui Weng Sun, 47, testified on Tuesday (7 April) that during a phone call between him and the 44-year-old boyfriend after the alleged incident, the man had mentioned the term “jiao dai”, which the doctor took to be a form of monetary compensation.
Upon further questioning by the prosecution, the doctor told the court that the man had never mentioned money during the 15-minute long conversation.
Lui, who formerly practised at Northeast Medical Group Clinic at Block 39 Jalan Tiga, is accused of one count of molesting the victim, a Vietnamese student, on 6 November 2017, by turning her left bra cup outwards, placing a stethoscope on her left breast, and touching her nipple with his finger.
The woman’s boyfriend earlier testified that his girlfriend had told him of the alleged incident and asked him if it was normal for doctors to “open up” her clothes. The woman, who is staying in Singapore on a student pass, also told him that there were no nurses around when she was consulting Lui.
The boyfriend, a contractor, then called up the clinic wanting to speak to Lui, but was told that he was not around. The victim, then 24, and her boyfriend later visited the clinic but were told that the doctor had left work. According to the man, Lui called him on his mobile phone while he was still at the clinic.
"I asked the doctor why, for a normal cold, cough and fever, there is a need to open the clothes, pull down the bra and touch the breast,” said the man, who added that the conversation was in Mandarin.
“He said, 'Oh sorry sorry, because I need to check the things inside'."
Unsatisfied, the boyfriend asked Lui to call him back in a few hours but the exchange was also unsatisfactory. According to the boyfriend, the doctor had asked to meet the boyfriend three days later, but the couple filed a police report without meeting him.
On Tuesday, the prosecution represented by Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Yiwen, followed up with the conversation, arguing that Lui’s testimony was fabricated. The doctor had lied that the boyfriend had hinted to him for compensation, using the lie as an “afterthought” for the trial, said DPP Ng.
When DPP Ng asked if the boyfriend had mentioned money, or asked for any specific terms of compensation, Lui answered “no”.
Asked DPP Ng, “Where did you get the impression from (the boyfriend) that he was hinting for you to compensate him monetarily?”
In reply, Lui said that different people might have interpreted the term “jiao dai” in different manners. “For my personal interpretation, it seems to hint at (money). It could be accounting,” he said.
The prosecution then asked if Lui felt outraged and angry given that the man was trying to blackmail him and falsely accusing him of molest. Lui replied that he was.
Lui told the court that he asked for advice from friends who were legal professionals and his medical insurance company.
Asked why he did not make a police report, Lui said, “I did not make police report as I did not have evidence. It is my word against her.”
Said DPP Ng, “This is your reputation at stake, you have been accused of something inappropriate and you understand him to be blackmailing you. Why did you have to consult so many people before you make police report against him?”
Lui replied, “But If I were to go to police with no evidence it doesn’t sound like anything substantial.”
The DPP then asked, “But the stakes are so tremendously high against you, it would have been incumbent upon you to go to police station (to make a police report).”
Said Lui, “It is logical for me to get legal advice from friends and indemnity from there (so) I would know what to do. Some advised me to attend the meeting and record the conversation and see whether there’s anything new the boyfriend would say.”
The prosecution then suggested to Lui that if the boyfriend was indeed blackmailing the doctor for money, Lui would have gone to the police station to make a police report. The doctor disagreed with the statement.
DPP Ng added, “The reason why you consulted widely is because you knew you were in trouble because of what you had done to the patient and you wanted their advice.” Lui disagreed with the prosecutor.
The trial continues later in the day.
If convicted on molest, Lui can be jailed up to two years, or fined or caned.