A man has been seen loitering near Potong Pasir and Kent Ridge MRT stations approaching girls and young women on multiple occasions, resulting in some members of the public raising the alarm and taking to social media to warn others about his antics.
One woman, Kay, took to Facebook on Jul. 13 to post a "public service announcement" about what she witnessed.
'Middle-aged man' behaving suspiciously
In her post, she warned others to keep a lookout for a "middle-aged man" who has been seen on the National University of Singapore (NUS) campus multiple times since June 2022.
Photos in the post showed the man clad in the same outfit each time -- black top, denim jeans, and glasses with thick black frames.
His demeanour was observed to have been odd, as he was suspected to have been taking photos of girls and women he crossed paths with using his phone held upright to his chest.
Frequently seen in NUS
In one clip dated Jul. 8, the man was seen near the NUS Museum.
In it, he could be seen walking with a phone in his hand.
As he walked past a woman going in the opposite direction, he could be seen raising the phone slightly, before lowering it.
As he approached the person filming him, he also did the same thing -- but unbeknownst to him, his actions were being recorded at that time.
Up close, his fingers could be seen positioned on the side of the phone, as if he was pressing the button located there to take photos surreptitiously.
Seen on NUS campus multiple times
Speaking to Mothership, Kay said that besides the Jul. 8 encounter, the man was spotted on campus on numerous occasions by her and her peers.
He would often be photographed by Kay or her friends holding his phone in a similar fashion.
He was spotted as recently as Aug. 12 during the university's Student Life Fair, Kay added.
In her Facebook post, Kay wrote that the man usually loitered around Kent Ridge MRT station between 8:30am to 10am and the NUS Museum bus stop between 5:30pm and 6:30pm.
Spectacles appear fake
She also alleged that the man's spectacles are "fake", has no lenses, and supposedly "contains a pinhole camera".
A blinking light was supposedly seen on his glasses.
Kay also shared that she made a police report against the man on Jun. 28.
Seen near Potong Pasir MRT in August
On Aug. 21, more than a month after Kay's post, another person took to social media to raise the alarm further.
This was after the same man was spotted outside Potong Pasir MRT.
TikTok user @coffee_and_sesame posted a clip to the platform, saying that she encountered the man while on her way to Serangoon Broadway to return her graduation gown.
@coffee_and_sesamepls read. saw him at kr mrt a few times. tried to stop him this time but he ran off. heard he was also seen loitering during commencement period. girls if you see him, walk away/ignore. if on campus pls call campus security. photo of him at Kent ridge with courtesy from a friend.♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat
She wrote that the man was seen loitering outside Potong Pasir MRT station and would convey well-wishes to individuals before asking them to do a survey.
The man wore a pair of thick black spectacles with no lenses, according to the user.
Speaking to Mothership, the TikTok user shared that it was not the first time she had seen the man, having seen the same person at Kent Ridge MRT station as well.
Man apparently active since 2020
Days after the video was uploaded by @coffee_and_sesame, another TikTok user, @vixpinkaaay, posted a 2-minute 28-second clip to break down the alleged modus operandi of the loitering man.
In the clip, the TikTok user said she found the man to be familiar after she had watched the video by @coffee_and_sesame.
She then recalled that she had encountered the man before at Kent Ridge MRT station in the past and he had approached her to participate in a survey on an iPad.
The man asked her if she was planning to participate in orientation camps or if she was going to be an orientation group leader.
"Part of the survey was asking for your number, your email address, your birthday and your name, that kind of stuff", the woman said in the clip.
As she was going for her pre-matriculation check-up then, she assumed the man was a NUS staff and provided the information asked for.
She subsequently received messages from him.
While cordial at first, the user later blocked the number after things "started getting weirder", she alleged.
Towards the end of the clip, she revealed that the man contacted her with a phone number that ended with "2316".
She cautioned other users that if they were contacted by the same number, it is highly likely it is the same man she was talking about.
Man handed over to officers
The TikTok user @coffee_and_sesame shared that a friend, Michael (not his real name), had similar run-ins with the man in the past.
Mothership understands that Kay, the TikTok user @coffee_and_sesame, and Michael are friends.
Michael told Mothership that he ran into the man twice in 2019.
The first time, Michael noticed that the man was wearing a pair of glasses with no lenses.
He suspected they were camera glasses, and later found matching ones for sale on Lazada.
The second time he bumped into the man was in June 2019.
During that encounter, the man fled after recognising Michael.
This prompted Michael to give chase.
Michael eventually caught the man and handed him over to officers from the Public Transport Security Command.
When the trio spotted the man again at Kent Ridge MRT in July 2022 and at Potong Pasir MRT in August 2022, they took to social media to warn others about the man.
Man caught harassing students previously
A man was previously fined and jailed in 2019 for stalking students, and in 2021, the same man was believed to have been arrested at that time for allegedly stalking students at the Singapore Management University (SMU).
The New Paper in 2016 had already identified the man as Fong Poh Kuen.
He was 39 years old then, and would be 45 in 2022.
TNP reported that Fong allegedly started his crime spree earlier on Oct. 17, 2014, when he was accused of touting by soliciting a girl to conduct a survey outside Chung Cheng High School (Main) on Crescent Road and Goodman Road, near Tanjong Katong.
In July 2015, he allegedly went to Sorby Adams Drive near Saint Andrew's Junior College and allegedly harassed a girl by recording her with his mobile phone as she was walking out of the school compound.
In April 2016, he allegedly used a black watch with a pinhole camera to capture two underskirt photos of an unknown woman.
In May 2016, he had already been accused once of criminally trespassing into the Singapore Management University.
Fong was the man who was arrested after he was accused of secretly taking photos of the girls in Bukit Timah in October 2017.
Identical modus operandi
According to a report by The Straits Times (ST), Fong's arrest in 2017 was the result of him stalking one girl in particular for years, from when she was in Secondary 1 till she entered junior college.
At one point, Fong attempted to obtain her contact details through a fake survey.
The court heard that Fong created forms for an "educational survey" and approached female students outside various secondary schools and JCs to fill up the surveys.
ST wrote that on one occasion, Fong texted one of the girls who had provided her details through the surveys.
On a number of occasions, he would follow these girls either before or after the girls had filled up survey forms and took a number of photographs of them.
The girls did not know they were being photographed.
Many others recognise man
Kay, her friends and @vixpinkaaay are not the only ones who recognise the man.
Others who claim to recognise him said they have seen the man outside their school compounds and as far back as 2013.
One TikTok user even quipped that the man has probably taken enough photos over the years to document their years growing up.
Speaking to Lianhe Zaobao, a NUS spokesperson said the university has notified the police about the man's presence.
"The safety of NUS students and staff is the top priority of the school. Students and staff are advised to remain vigilant, and notify campus security if they notice any suspicious activities or persons", the spokesperson told Zaobao.
Responding to Mothership's queries, the police confirmed that a report was lodged and are looking into the matter.
Mothership has reached out to NUS for comments.
Top image via Kay/Facebook, @coffee_and_sesame/TikTok, @vixpinkaaay/TikTok