His Facebook support group was meant to provide information to foreign domestic workers (FWDs) in Singapore. But he is now being accused of using it to lure the FDWs into having sex with him, with one claiming that she has borne him a child as a result.
Mahal Jat, whom the FDWs The Online Citizen (TOC) spoke to said he claimed to be from India and Australia, started the Faceook public group, “SHEG. Maid Jobs Singapore, No Fee/Deduction – For employers and maids”, in December 2012.
To date, it has garnered over 86,000 “likes”.
Since the accusations against Mahal Jat emerged, however, the page’s status has been changed to a closed group.
The group describes the Facebook page as a platform “where FDW meet each other to help each other with advice, information and advocacy.”
“There is no office, no managers, no leader, only SELF-LEADERS,” the page says. “Each member is encouraged to become a SELF-LEADER. Any member can help fellow members via the wall, Any member can seek help by posting on the wall.”
It encouraged FDWs & employers to “discuss FDW related issues, post job/helper wanted advert on the wall without transfer fee & salary deductions.”
Apparently, the FDWs found the page very helpful, and started to use it to interact with one another on various matters which concerned them, mostly about employment regulations, work-related problems. They also at times arrange meet-ups offline.
The controversy over Mahal Jat’s behaviour surfaced in May this year, when Filipina Angel Yash Reynoso, 29, posted on the wall of SHEG’s Facebook page that Mahal Jat had fathered her baby.
Her posts were shortly removed from the Facebook wall.
Mahal Jat reportedly denied being the man responsible for her pregnancy, and told Angel Yash Reynoso to abort the baby, which she refused.
Angel Yash Reynoso decided to return to the Philippines instead.
FDWs who are pregnant are required to leave Singapore.
Angel Yash Reynoso gave birth to her baby in February this year.
She, however, is not the only FDWs who say that Mahal Jat had used the Facebook page to have sex with them.
At least four other FDWs have stepped forward to accuse him of this.
A FDW (whom we shall name ‘M’) who is in touch with some of the women involved told TOC that she believes that there are more than four women who have had sex with Mahal Jat through the Facebook group. M told TOC that Mahal Jat, because of the help the Facebook page rendered to FDWs, was trusted by the FDWs and they looked up to him.
“Everybody thought he was a hero, helping the FDWs,” M said.
Some of them apparently fell in love with him too.
One had gone to Pasir Ris with Mahal Jat – which M said was “Mahal’s style” when going out with the FDWs - and had had sex with him in a tent, because she was in love with him.
But she soon realised that she was just one of many women in Mahal Jat’s life.
She said she had met Mahal Jat at a time when she was depressed after a break-up with her boyfriend.
“I felt very comfortable with Mahal as he would always comfort me when I was down,” the press reported her as having said.
She said she regarded Mahal highly because she thought he worked for the non-governmental organisation, Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME).
After she and Mahal had had sex in the tent in Pasir Ris beach, she said she thought he really cared for her. Unfortunately, she soon found out from other women on the Facebook group that Mahal Jat had also wooed them.
“When I found out, I got jealous and confronted him,” she said.
She says Mahal Jat instead turned it around and accused her of using him, and he even used vulgarities on her.
As for Angel Yash Reynoso, she had met Mahal Jat through Facebook in February last year. After several subsequent meet-ups, she became pregnant.
When she told Mahal Jat about it, his first reaction was to tell her, “Abort it.”
“I felt so hurt. I did not want to abort the baby. I’d rather die than to do that,” she told The New Paper.
Angel Yash Reynoso, who had been working in Singapore for 12 years then, chose to return to the Philippines instead – and according to M, is planning to return to Singapore, now that she has given birth to her baby.
She, like others, had held Mahal Jat in high regard because of his advocacy work supporting FDWs.
“I will not trust any guy easily anymore,” she said. “It’s just sweet talk."
The news is now the talk of the town among the FDW community, with some sharing their views on it on other online groups, such as Mingle In Singapore:
When approached by the newspapers, Mahal Jat denied all the charges and accusations which he said were started by “trouble-makers”.
Mahal Jat has since become uncontactable.
A friend of his, Johare Mohamed, says that in a Facebook conversation with him, Mahal Jat had placed the blame on the women.
Mahal Jat allegedly said:
“If women throw themselves at me and ask for a date, and I tell them I cannot marry, cannot give long term relationship, and they willingly want to date despite zero promises, and me making everything clear up front, then it’s casual date only.
“I do not chase women. If they throw themselves at me, even if I make clear I have nothing to give, then no one has right to make gossip or use wrong words, brother.”
HOME, in the meantime, confirmed that Mahal Jat is not connected to the organisation.