Singapore

Ler Teck Siang: I provided massage services, not drugs

But tutor tells doctor accused of injecting illegal drugs into abusers to tell the truth

The Singaporean doctor accused of injecting illegal drugs into abusers for a fee told a district court yesterday 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 through 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. The two men were arrested at Conrad Centennial Singapore hotel on March 2, after hotel staff found drugs and drug-related items 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 yesterday, 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.

"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 today.

COURT & CRIME