Ler Teck Siang tells court he was hired to provide massage services, not to inject illegal drugs

Ler Teck Siang (above) is alleged to have provided "slamming" services frequently to tutor Sim Eng Chee before Sim's romps with men.
Ler Teck Siang (above) is alleged to have provided "slamming" services frequently to tutor Sim Eng Chee before Sim's romps with men.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Singaporean doctor accused of injecting illegal drugs into abusers for a fee told a district court on Thursday (July 11) that he had provided massage, not "slamming", services to a former drug addict before the two were arrested by narcotics officers.

"Slamming" is slang for the administering of illegal drugs via injection.

Ler Teck Siang - one of the two men at the centre of the HIV Registry data leak - is alleged to have provided "slamming" services frequently to tutor Sim Eng Chee before Sim's romps with men.

Ler, 38, is contesting a charge of abetting Sim in consuming methamphetamine on Feb 26 last year and for possessing drug-related items on March 2.

He and Sim were arrested at the Conrad Centennial Singapore hotel on March 2, after hotel staff found drugs and drug-related utensils in Sim's room.

Sim, who was jailed for drug possession and consumption last September, told the court on Wednesday that he frequently hired Ler to inject him with methamphetamine from late 2017 to March last year.

During Ler's cross-examination of Sim on Thursday, Ler asked Sim if he recalled that Ler's profile on Grindr - a dating app for gay people - specified that he was offering a massage service.

Sim replied no.

Ler then said his Grindr profile had a description that read "for a slamming good time", and asked Sim if he remembered informing him that "slamming" had a different connotation involving drugs.

"Do you recall that I was horrified by the wrong choice of words?" Ler said to Sim.

 
 

"Slamming" became an inside joke, Ler added.

Subsequently, whenever Sim wanted a massage, he would refer to it as a "slam", the doctor told the court.

"(You) misrepresented the nature of my service to you, which in truth did not involve the administering of methamphetamine to you," said Ler, who also asked if Sim had a "plea deal".

Sim denied all the allegations. He reiterated that he had never hired Ler to give him a massage but to inject drugs into him.

"From the point that I was arrested, I felt a sense of doom and I realised I had to face consequences," said Sim.

"My IO (investigating officer) and any other CNB (Central Narcotics Bureau) officers I met... they can attest to the fact that I have chosen to face up to the consequences of my actions very squarely."

He added that he had nothing to gain from testifying against Ler and was in court to tell the truth.

Sim also said he had not been given any goodwill, highlighting that a district judge had chosen to sentence him to 17 months' jail for consumption and possession of drugs.

The sentence was higher than the prosecutors' suggested sentence of 12 months for consumption and two months for possession.

"I come to court to testify... to tell the truth... I know it, and you know it," said Sim to Ler.

"I faced up to the reality of my actions... And I urge you to face up to it."

Ler's trial will continue on Friday. He is serving a two-year jail sentence for helping his HIV-positive partner, Mikhy Farrera-Brochez, deceive the authorities into allowing him to work in Singapore.