Businesses preparing for worst following end of shisha sales

The grace period for shisha sales ends on Sunday.

Business at three of Esad Sedjic's restaurants was booming up till 2014, with the restaurants filled up till the wee hours in the morning.

However, two of the former S-League star's restaurants has slid into a rapid decline following the expiry of their shisha licenses, and his third is set for a bleak future with the grace period for the shisha ban expiring this Sunday.

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SMRT officer jailed for road rage

Abdul Hadi Abdul Sukor was jailed seven months for the attack.

He punched the lorry driver's face and caused him to fall to the ground.

But even then, SMRT technical officer Abdul Hadi Abdul Sukor was not done.

The motorcyclist repeatedly stamped on Mr Seah Chong Beng's right leg, causing a small piece of bone to break off from Mr Seah's shin.

Abdul Hadi, 30, was yesterday jailed for seven months for the attack, which happened on April 29 last year.

Mr Seah, 66, was driving his company lorry on Bukit Batok Road at about 12.50pm when Abdul Hadi, who was on a motorcycle, sounded his horn.

Abdul Hadi overtook the lorry and signalled at Mr Seah. Both stopped along the roadside.

After getting off his motocycle, Abdul Hadi took out his mobile phone and tried to take a picture of Mr Seah, who had got out of the lorry.

When Mr Seah raised his arm to block the camera, Abdul Hadi attacked him. He punched the right side of Mr Seah's face and stamped on his right leg several times.

Mr Seah also suffered fractures to his nose and around his eye.

Abdul Hadi was ordered to pay Mr Seah $200 in compensation after pleading guilty to voluntarily causing grievous hurt. He could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined or caned.

Tags: crime, court and assault

Massage did not cause woman's death

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Tags: Singapore, court and doctor

Young actors shadowed autistic teen for authenticity
PREMIERE: (From left) Redha's executive producer Haris Sulong, actors Izzy Zulkhazreef Zulkeflii and Harith Haziq Kholdon, and director Mona Riza.

As two young actors found out, portraying characters with autism requires dedication,

Harith Haziq Kholdon, eight, and Izzy Zulkhazreef Zulkefli, 16, star in the critically-acclaimed Malaysian film Redha, which premiered here on Tuesday.

Co-written and directed by Madam Mona Riza, 49, Redha was inspired by real-life stories.

It centres on a married couplestruggling to adapt after their only son is diagnosed as autistic.

The father refuses to come to terms with the situation, while the mother attempts to better understand autism to help her son - portrayed at different ages by Harith and Izzy.

Madam Mona, her husband and the film's executive producer Haris Sulong, editor Isazaly Isa and the two young actors, were in town for the gala premiere on Tuesday.


On Wednesday, some of the cast and crew members visited My Islamic Journey Education Hub to meet the students.

Madam Mona was visibly touched when the class greeted them and prayed for their health and success of the film.

To portray the boy with autism, Harith and Izzy shadowed 15-year-oldWei Xiang, who has autism, for nearly three months.

"The deal was for them to live and breathe Wei Xiang.

"I'm very particular about it, because if you want to emulate something as sensitive as this, you must emulate it as accurately as possible," Madam Mona told The New Paper.

Redha will be screened at The Projector in Golden Mile Tower from today until Sunday.

Part of the collection from ticket sales will go to the Autism Association (Singapore).

Son inspired her to start special needs school

Mother of boy with Asperger syndrome starts special needs programmes
HELPING OTHERS: Madam Faraliza Zainal started My Islamic Journey Education Hub in 2011.

Her own experience gave her the drive to help others.

In 2003, Madam Faraliza Zainal's firstborn was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a form of autism.

Her son Mohd Ashraf Mohd Ali was three.

For Madam Faraliza, as with the many other caregivers in her shoes, it was the start of a journey of ups and downs, especially when it came to her son interacting with other people.

Madam Faraliza told The New Paper of a hurtful incident when her son was six.

He had disturbed another child during a visit to the zoo.

Madam Faraliza, 45, recalled: "The father told me angrily, 'Can you teach your son some manners?'

"That was extremely upsetting."

Madam Faraliza admitted that the early days were tough for her and her husband.

During an MP home visit in 2006, Mohd Ashraf spat at the MP.

But raising a child with autism led Madam Faraliza to realise the importance of education specifically tailored for children with special needs.

She left her high-flying job with Dow Jones in 2011 to set up My Islamic Journey Education Hub (MIJ).

It started as a weekend madrasah for students with special needs, aged between five and 30.


The school proved popular and it began a full-time English-language holistic programme last year, combining religious education with numeracy, literacy and life skills.

The weekday programme is endorsed by the Singapore Islamic Scholars & Religious Teachers Association, and it caters to students aged between 17 and 30.

Before founding MIJ, Madam Faraliza earned an advanced diploma in special needs education, became a certified play therapist, and researched other methods of therapy.

"Being a mother of an autistic child helps because you need hands-on experience," said Madam Faraliza, who also provides on-the-job training fir her five full-time teachers and 19 part-time teachers.

Her son is among those enrolled. They include students with Down syndrome, dyslexia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The school now has 180 students.

Lessons at MIJ take a more practical approach.

"We take them to the supermarket and give them a list of things to purchase. They also carry calculators with them to calculate the price," said Madam Faraliza.

Other activities include baking, gardening and even self-defence lessons, courtesy of a mixed martial arts studio.

For MIJ's special educators, such as Miss Nur Faezah Misngadi, 25, shaping the minds of the students every day is not an easy feat and requires plenty of patience.

"We need support from all facets of society. There is always talk of help for those with special needs, but how exactly are you helping them? You need to walk the talk," she said.

Trump asks Russia: Hack Clinton's e-mails

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Nepal hit by floods, landslides

Situation dire as many Nepalis still reeling from last year's devastating earthquake

TO THE RESCUE: (Above) Army personnel assist flood victims in Kapilvastu, in southern Nepal.
TO THE RESCUE: (Left) Police personnel guide children through floodwater in the district of Bardiya, about 400km south-west of Kathmandu.
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Lions suffer first defeat to Cambodia in 44 years

Republic suffer first loss to Cambodia in 44 years

PUZZLED: Striker Khairul Amri (above), who scored Singapore's goal against Cambodia last night, says the Lions must regroup. 



(Chan Vathanaka 18, Tith Dina 45+2)


(Khairul Amri 23)

Singapore went down to their second-ever defeat to Cambodia in 17 meetings last night, when they lost 2-1 in an international friendly played at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh.

The only other time Singapore suffered a reverse to Cambodia was 44 years ago, when they were beaten 3-0 in the Jakarta Anniversary football tournament in 1972.

Singapore were missing five key overseas-based players - Shahril Ishak, Safuwan Baharudin, Hariss Harun, Baihakki Khaizan and Hassan Sunny - as well as injured winger Faris Ramli, but were still expected to beat their opponents, who are ranked 180th in the world, 22 places below them.

Striker and skipper, Khairul Amri, who scored the Lions goal, was at a loss to explain the defeat.

"It's just their day," said the 31-year-old, over the phone.

"Every ball seemed to fall for them and we hit the post so many times.

"Also, the referee had a part to play with their second goal."

When asked what the mood was like in the dressing room, Amri said: "Bad, man. It has all gone quiet."

Last night's kick-off was delayed for half an hour because of a downpour. Cambodia opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Chan Vathanaka curled home a superb free-kick beyond goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud.

The hosts' lead lasted only five minutes, before Amri levelled the score with a looping header after he got on the end of Izzdin Shafiq's raking long pass.

The match officials then raised the ire of the Singapore players just before half-time, when Vathanaka was allowed to burst forward from the left flank from what seemed to be an offside position, before crossing for Tith Dina to finish from close range.

As the two teams returned to the dressing room at the break, an irate Lions coach V Sundramoorthy was seen venting his frustration at the match officials and had to be held back by assistant coach Fandi Ahmad.

Sundram's side came close to another equaliser early in the second half when Fazrul Nawaz, and then Zulfahmi Arifin, saw efforts come off the woodwork.

Cambodia were forced to play the final 15 minutes with 10 men when defender Hong Pheng was sent off after picking up a second yellow card, but the Lions failed to capitalise.

The closest the visitors came to an equaliser was in the 89th minute when Fazrul's stabbed effort during a goalmouth melee again came off the upright.

Amri said there was nothing he and his teammates could do but pick themselves up and look forward.

"What next? We have to regroup," he said. "Everyone knows we don't have a full team here... But now, it's up to coach to find the best 11 for the team and the best solution for us from here. We're in good hands, but this is football."

Sundram took over the national team last month and got off to a winning start, beating Myanmar 1-0 in a quadrangular tournament in Yangon.

But the Lions lost the second game of that tournament 3-0 to Vietnam in extra time and last night's result means he now has a record of one win and two losses in three 'A' international matches.

  • SINGAPORE: Izwan Mahbud, Faritz Hameed, Madhu Mohana, Abdil Qaiyyim, Shakir Hamzah (Safirul Sulaiman 86), Nazrul Nazari (Gabriel Quak 59), Izzdin Shafiq (Daniel Bennett 96), Zulfahmi Arifin (Khairul Nizam 82), Hafiz Abu Sujad (Hafiz Nor 69), Fazrul Nawaz, Khairul Amri (Sahil Suhaimi 74)

Football is like that. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I thought Cambodia showed fighting spirit and did very well. But we have to look at ourselves as well, the chances that we had... We should have finished them.

— Singapore assistant coach Fandi 

Tags: Cambodia and Singapore

Fabregas says sorry for Klavan tackle

FULL CONTACT: Cesc Fabregas earning a red card for the sliding tackle on Liverpool's Ragnar Klavan (in red).
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Bad cop good for Reds

Liverpool's Klopp shows there's no room for indiscipline

"He missed the departure of the plane, he missed a session and then was late for a meal. I have to build a group here, I have to start anew, so I thought it maybe made sense that he flew home to Liverpool and after eight days, when we come back, we can talk about it" - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp (above) on why he sent defender Mamadou Sakho home from the Reds’ pre-season tour of the United States
"He missed the departure of the plane, he missed a session and then was late for a meal. I have to build a group here, I have to start anew, so I thought it maybe made sense that he flew home to Liverpool and after eight days, when we come back, we can talk about it" - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp on why he sent defender Mamadou Sakho (above) home from the Reds’ pre-season tour of the United States
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