Filipina prostitute murdered by Indian national

From ‘Punched, stabbed and left to die’, 9 Nov 2011, article in

A murder trial today revealed that a prostitute died after a brutal knifing. The deceased is Filipino woman Roselyn Reyes Pascua (aged 30), who was found lying in a pool of blood at Peony Mansion in Bencoolen Street, in the wee hours of 15 March last year.

Working as a prostitute, the Filipina was stabbed 16 times altogether, including 10 times in her chest and abdomen, once in her neck, and twice in her vagina. She died only after 30 minutes as a stab wound to her heart drained the blood from her.

The woman was unable to cry out for help in her last moments due to a very serious neck wound. Bruising to her face and cuts on her lips also indicate that she was punched repeatedly in the face. The suspect currently on trial for her murder is Indian national Bijukumar Remadevi Nair Gopinathan.

It would be gross understatement to say that this is yet another case of foreign workers making a nuisance of themselves, following a recent uproar about gangs of them mentally undressing women in bikinis at Sentosa  . Mutilating genitalia is the most heinous of assaults and truly deserving of a hanging, but what bugs me here is not foreign workers contributing to violent crime, but rather why prostitutes, mostly foreigners themselves, suffer such violent, unspeakable deaths at the brutal hands of men and nobody’s doing anything about it.

A psychotic fit of jealous rage could be one of the reasons, or perhaps such gruesome acts are simply an extension of prostitutes being treated as commodities by paying customers, who want to get more ‘bang’ for their buck. Or it could be a case of ‘Jack the Ripper’ syndrome, where prostitutes, viewed as ‘defiled’,  or ‘second-hand goods’ deserve a violent death. Here’s a look at prostitute murders over the years, and looking at the bestial brutality of most of these cases, the average prostitute would be considered lucky to get suffocated with a pillow in her face instead of having a knife plunged into it.

20 Oct 1936: Lam Ah Yok, ‘Cantonese’, 24, 13 stab wounds on face, neck, chest, back. Motive determined as robbery.

6 July 1976: Fang Lai Chan, 30, 31 stab wounds, 2 fatal on the chest, by a 70 year old Chinese taxi-driver who subsequently killed himself by drowning.

6 Sept 1977: Chong Kiu Moy, 26, 13 cut wounds on neck and body

15 July 1988: Chang Hai Lin, Malaysian, 36, multiple stab wounds, found in a brothel. Murderer also thought of killing himself subsequently.

15 March 1988:Wong Ngu Moi, Malaysian, 30, multiple wounds and lacerations on face and head. Flattened face. Killed by a female social escort, over a man.

13 Dec 1988: Soi Mana, Thai, 32,  throat slashed, multiple stab wounds on chest. Murdered in a Geylang boarding house where she served Thai nationals.

2007: Phakhaphon Taeng-On,Thai, 35, injury to head, neck, chest, limbs, abdomen. Body bound by rubber tube. Used to serve foreign workers in Kranji jungle hideouts

2008: Coco, Malaysian, 41, stabbed once in the abdomen. Suspect was a ‘dark-complexioned’ man

14 Jan 2010: Radika Devi Thayagarajah, Sri Lankan, 21, strangled to death and stuffed under a bed in a hotel room. Murderer was an Indian national, also 21, and HAD SEX with another prostitute on the same bed while victim was under it. Victim was SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT. Started from a quarrel over money.

So, before we slam the world’s oldest profession for turning our quiet neighbourhoods into sleazy havens, perhaps we should consider what dire situations these women are setting themselves up for, desperately plying their trade from men who could very well be psycho killers who stab people in the face and vagina. It also doesn’t help that business transactions are usually conducted in secluded areas at unearthly hours, sometimes even in the jungle if need be. What’s trending is the increasing suspicion of foreign workers over the past few cases, and if you consider other less than savoury weekend hobbies like girl-watching and gambling for their bosses at the casinos, you’d have to wonder if any of our foreign workers still write letters to their families back home, or even sing and dance, in their free time anymore.

The lack of measures or welfare systems to keep prostitutes from harm smacks of double standards from a pro-immigrant society and general discrimination, and if the government is helpless and won’t do so much as install metal detectors at all brothels, then AWARE should step up its game to prevent such brutal attacks from happening through education and advocating enforcement instead of complaining about sexism all the time.


One Response

  1. […] story isn’t exactly rare, with similar stories continuing to pile, and with some of them affecting Filipinos in Singapore. In 2011, for instance, a Filipina – 30-year-old Roselyn Reyes Pascua – was found lying in a […]

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