FeedMe Malaysia recently covered a story where an avid volunteer and churchgoer was accused of being a child groomer, deliberately messaging young girls on Facebook for the past 10 years.
The exposé came after Kembara Kitchen founder William Cheah learned from a little girl that she was uncomfortable being around with a man. The 14-year-old girl proceeded to show Cheah the conversation between the man and her, then only Cheah realized there was a child grooming perpetrator within his NGO.
Cheah took to Facebook to share the screenshots of the conversation of two girls with the child predator, known as TC (alias). His intention was to warn the public that there was this man roaming between churches and NGOs to hunt for young girls in plain sights. Never did he expect to receive over 13 responses from netizens, coming forward to tell him it wasn’t an isolated incident.
For example, a young victim said she was stalked by TC when she was 16-year-old. She was walking to the supermarket near her house but in that 10-minute short stroll, TC drove behind her slowly and asked for her address. The young girl had to take routes that were impassable by cars to get to the mall. She even hid in one of the aisles to avoid being found by TC who left his car to pursue her by foot. She eventually called her father for a rescue.
Another victim revealed that she was harassed by TC over WhatsApp. In the conversation, TC was trying to trick the girl to bed with words like “I want to hug you and sleep with you” and “Nothing is wrong, keep a secret okay?”
The church that TC frequented knew about his behaviour and tried to give him counsel and advice but it had all fallen on deaf ears. They had warned the members about TC’s behaviours and he was put out of any church ministries.
After Cheah and many young victims came forward to make the issue known, The New Covenant Church (TNCC) placed an interim ban on TC until further notice.
According to The Star, TC had a bad record in an NGO previously. Prior to joining Kembara Kitchen in volunteering work, TC was with Mustard Seed Soup Kitchen for a year. He was asked to leave after a 16-year-old made a complaint against him for inappropriate behaviours.
The daily also learned that TC preyed on his victims not just in NGOs and churches but also in schools. A former youth leader of a church TC grew up in said he was known for “overly persistent” in his approach with girls.
The source claimed that when TC was in his 20s, he never stopped trying his luck on 14-year-old girls.
Following the furore, TC spoke to the daily to give his side of the story. He claimed that he was misunderstood and saw no harm in his “caring mrssages” and the way he approached young girls.
“I am actually very straightforward and friendly. I think my actions have been misunderstood,” said the 36-year-old child grooming suspect.
He admitted to contacting underaged girls for many years but asserted that there was no paedophilic or harmful intention in mind. He said he knew the girls were underage but he was merely just seeking for connection.
“I don’t have any sickness. My intention is to look for companionship.
“Age is just a number,” TC said.
He added that he was the kind of person that would talk to anyone and cared for the people. By companion, he meant “brother and sister” where he would be the one offering help and protection to them.
To that, experts warned that playing the “elder brother” role is the sign of how a child grooming perpetrator approaches underaged girls.