Married Singaporean man jailed for registering marriage to mistress in Las Vegas

Amir Hussain
Senior Reporter
Ronnie Oh Yin Yan, 58, pleaded guilty to marrying again within the lifetime of his wife.

SINGAPORE — He was already married for over three decades when the Singaporean decided to get hitched again, this time in the USA.

For registering his marriage to his mistress in Las Vegas, Nevada, last year, Ronnie Oh Yin Yan was jailed for one month in the State Courts on Wednesday (22 May).

The 58-year-old pleaded guilty to one charge of bigamy. Besides being a crime under the Penal Code, a second marriage is considered void.

Met mistress online

Oh married his first wife, who is now 56, in Singapore in October 1987.

In April 2016, he got to know a woman via a social media website. They got into a romantic relationship in August that year.

Oh paid his lover, who is now 26, a monthly sum to work in his company and for companionship, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tan Ben Mathias told the court.

Later, Oh told his mistress that he would give her an increased monthly allowance if she married him. He suggested registering their marriage in the USA and she agreed.

On 28 March last year, the duo got a State of Nevada Marriage Certificate.

Tumultuous first marriage

DPP Tan asked for a one month jail term in line with several previous bigamy cases.

For instance, in 2016, a 60-year-old taxi driver who wedded his first wife in Singapore in 1982 received the jail term for marrying another woman in Malaysia in 1990.

Oh asked for a lighter sentence, saying he had high blood pressure and difficulty walking, and that he had contributed to grassroots organisations.

He told the court via a Mandarin interpreter, “All along I have been quarrelling with my first wife. I quarrel every day. On my way here (to court) I also quarrelled with her.”

His first wife, who sat in the public gallery, declined to speak to reporters outside court.

It is not known how Oh’s case came to the attention of the authorities.

The maximum punishment for bigamy is up to seven years’ jail, along with a fine.

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