Singapore

A look back at May 2015: Our sweet victory on foreign soil

The LionsXII team became the first foreign team to win the Malaysia FA Cup in its 26-year history when they beat Kelantan 3-1 at Bukit Jalil on May 23.

Striker Sahil Suhaimi earned himself a hero's status by scoring two late goals after Kelantan midfielder Wan Zack Haikal cancelled Faris Ramli's opener.

The Red Warriors attacked right from the kick-off and peppered Izwan Mahbud's goal with 22 shots.

But the LionsXII dug deep to repeat the heroics of the famous Malaysia Cup final in 1994, when a Fandi Ahmad-led side beat Pahang 4-0.

Fandi, who was appointed LionsXII coach in 2014, said at the end of the historic night on May 23 this year: "This is a developmental team, and we struggled in the league earlier this year... but we proved everyone wrong. This is so sweet, so sweet."

Football smear campaign scam exposed

Just a week before world football governing body Fifa's presidential election in May, The New Paper exposed a plot by Kenya-based conmen to blackmail candidates over supposedly damaging information.

TNP, working closely with Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, uncovered the scam in an award-winning exclusive on May 23.

First, the syndicate would offer the candidates information, which suggested they were subjects of a smear campaign supposedly hatched by incumbent Sepp Blatter's camp, and claim to know ex-Fifa officials or insiders with access to sensitive material.

The conmen would then demand money before releasing the supposedly damaging information.

Dutch Football Association head Michael van Praag and Jordanian Prince Ali al-Hussein told TNP reporter Zaihan Mohamed Yusof they were approached.

Mr Zaihan worked his contacts and e-mailed a man who claimed he knew of the plot and wanted to expose it.

The man, who gave his name only as Nasser, turned out to be asking for money in exchange for information.Mr Zaihan explained it was not this paper's practice to pay for information.

Nasser eventually sent a handful of documents purporting to be e-mail exchanges. The document included names of people related to Mr Blatter, including his daughter Corinne and his nephew.

Mr Zaihan made contact with several people named, including Ms Corinne Blatter. All said the e-mail trail was false.

Naseer went silent and stopped responding to Mr Zaihan's e-mails.

On exposing the scam, Mr Zaihan said: "He did not expect we would be thorough and check with every person listed in the documents."

Country club to make way for KL-S'pore speed rail

The Singapore Land Authority announced on May 11 that Jurong Country Club (JCC) must surrender its 67ha site to make way for the terminus of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail project.

The terminus will sit about 600m from the current Jurong East MRT station. It will account for some 12ha, or about 20 per cent, of the site, which is bordered by the Ayer Rajah Expressway and Jurong Town Hall Road.

The high-speed rail will allow commuters to travel to and from KL in just 90 minutes.

COMPENSATION

The remaining area will be redeveloped into a mixed-use precinct including offices, hotels, retail, family entertainment facilities and possibly residential units.

JCC will close its doors in November next year - almost 20 years ahead of its lease expiry.

Members of the 40-year-old Jurong Country Club (JCC) had only recently splurged $24 million on a makeover. How much the club will be compensated for the land and how much each of the 2,700 members will receive is still unclear.

Maid stabbed and strangled teen to death

Indonesian maid Tuti Aeliyah, 30, was sentenced to 12 years' jail on May 25 for killing Secondary 4 student Shameera Basha (above) at her Tampines flat on Nov 14, 2013.

Tuti had pleaded guilty to one count of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

At about 7.30am on the fateful day, Tuti was in the toilet and claimed she saw "Satan" in the toilet mirror.

She went into the bedroom where Shameera was asleep. It was then that "Satan" told her to kill the Tanjong Katong Girls' School student so that Tuti would have company in heaven.

Tuti first tried smothering the girl with a pillow before stabbing her more than four times with a kitchen knife. Finally, she used Shameera's school pinafore to strangle the girl to death.

An Institute of Mental Health psychologist found that Tuti was suffering from severe depression with psychotic symptoms.

Even though she was not of unsound mind at the time of the incident, her judgment was significantly impaired due to her mental illness.

After the sentencing, Tuti told the court she was sorry for what she had done and wanted to apologise to Shameera's family.

Her father, Mr Rodi, 70, told The New Paper in an exclusive interview that Tuti came here to work after she was pressured by her husband and in-laws for money.

Tuti's husband also deserted her after she was arrested in November 2013, Mr Rodi said.

He thanked the court for giving his daughter a chance to live.

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