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Two women jailed for attacking taxi driver

While inside a taxi, beautician Fan Xiling decided she needed to smoke.

But after she lit her cigarette, taxi driver Shah Kamariza Raja Abdul Razak, 36, told her to pay him and get out if she wanted to smoke.

Fan, 34, walked out without paying. When Mr Shah rushed out to confront her, Fan refused to pay and, along with her friend, attacked him.

Fan and her friend, stall assistant Li Li, 41, were each jailed for six weeks yesterday after pleading guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Timotheus Koh told the court that Mr Shah picked them up at 1am on March 14 at Peace Centre in Sophia Road.

The women, who had been drinking, told him to drive them to Block 204, Toa Payoh North before going to Sengkang.

At the first stop, Li alighted to collect some items from a friend .

Mr Shah was inside the taxi with Fan when she told him she wanted to smoke.

Before he could reply, she wound a window down and lit up.

DPP Koh said: "The victim told her he does not allow smoking in his taxi and if she wanted to continue, she could alight and pay the fare of $15.30.

"Fan alighted without paying the fare and crossed the road."

He chased her and pulled her bag, asking her to pay up. She refused, saying that if she could not smoke, she would not pay the fare.

Li joined in the dispute after she completed running her errands.

The women turned violent when Mr Shah called the police.

Fan kicked Mr Shah's left thigh. Li punched his face and body multiple times. They tore his shirt. Fan tried to hit his head with her heeled shoe.

Both women were arrested after the police arrived.

Mr Shah suffered injuries including a 2cm-long scratch near his right eye and two superficial scratches on his left arm.

DPP Koh urged District Judge Shawn Ho to jail each woman for six weeks, stressing that they were intoxicated at the time of the offence.

Their lawyer, Mr Troy Yeo, asked for his clients, both of whom are Singapore permanent residents from China, to be fined and said the attack was unplanned.

Before the sentencing, Judge Ho said he agreed with the prosecution.

He said the women had taken part in a group attack and that taxi drivers are vulnerable to acts of violence.

The women could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000 each.

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Lisa Surihani nervous about acting with M'sian jazz queen Sheila Majid

Actress Lisa Surihani Mohamed was a bundle of nerves acting with Malaysian jazz queen Sheila Majid for upcoming musical Sinaran

MUSICAL: Lisa Surihani Mohamed (centre) plays Shila, a college freshman.
LEADING LADY: Malaysian actress-host Lisa Surihani Mohamed plays Shila in the musical Sinaran.

She struggled to calm her nerves and contain her excitement while filming with Sheila Majid last year for upcoming musical Sinaran.

Malaysian actress and host Lisa Surihani Mohamed plays the lead character of college freshman Shila in the movie where the Malaysian jazz queen has a cameo appearance as herself.

The coming-of-age tale about ambitions, friendship and love is named after a classic Sheila hit that propelled her to stardom in 1986.

In the film, Shila falls in love with Indonesian student Andre (played by Indonesian actor Evan Sanders) and takes part in a dance competition while battling life's ups and downs.

Recalling her experience filming with the celebrated singer, Lisa, 29, told The New Paper at the film's gala premiere at Temasek Polytechnic yesterday: "In front of her, I tried to be all cool and casual so as not to make her feel uncomfortable or awkward. But God knows how I truly felt.

"We shot the scene for nearly 24 hours and she was still joking around with everyone.

"People easily assume she's a diva because of her status, but she's very humble. It is very inspiring to me how someone as successful as her can remain so grounded. It makes her very special."

Lisa, who was tight-lipped about the 50-year-old's involvement in the film, said that Sheila's 1985 song Gerimis Semalam was especially meaningful for her.

"It's not in the film, but it's a very sweet song that reminds me of my late father. It's my favourite song of hers and I told her that," said Lisa, whose father lost a battle with cancer in 2008 at the age of 61.

The movie, also starring regional actors like Syarif Sleeq, Izara Aishah and Nadiah M. Din, breathes new life into Sheila's hit songs like Antara Anyer Dan Jakarta, Warna and Di Dalam Emosi Ini. She also recorded a new track, Sinaran Cinta, just for the film.

The film, slated for a Nov 26 release in cinemas across Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, was largely filmed here against familiar settings like Arab Street, Universal Studios Singapore and Temasek Polytechnic, with a $1.3 million budget.

For Lisa, the filming process of Sinaran was one of her most memorable experiences as an actress.

The recent winner of Best Actress at Malaysia's Anugerah Skrin awards ceremony said: "I like it that director Osman Ali and executive producer Kevin Chin asked for our input throughout the film, making us feel very involved as actors.

"I also danced in the movie, something I haven't done in over 10 years. I'm excited to see how it comes together."


Lisa has another reason to be excited this year: She and her Malaysian film-maker husband, Yusry Abdul Halim, welcomed a baby girl named Yahaira Leanne on Sept 15.

Said Lisa about motherhood: "It's more of me learning new things than anything else. I'm constantly learning things about myself.

"I hope to be the best mother I can be for my daughter."

Yahaira, she said, is a mix of her parents and her grandmothers. While she has Yusry's chin and forehead, she has Lisa's lips and eyes.

"I will never forget the time I first laid my eyes on her after giving birth," said Lisa.

"She was really fair, with really, really pink cheeks and lots of hair. I teared up because it was such a beautiful moment. It's, like, 'Oh my God, I'm a mum.'"

It is too early to say if Lisa will let career take a backseat to parenthood.

"Maybe when she is a little older, I will feel more confident about taking on projects. I love my job and it's still too early to say. We'll see," she said.

It is very inspiring to me how someone as successful as her can remain so grounded. It makes her very special.

- Lisa Surihani Mohamed on Sheila Majid

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Rush: Top-four for United & Pool at best

Rush tips a top-four finish for United and Pool at best, Johnsen a great admirer of Klopp

BIG GUNS: Former Reds striker Ian Rush 
(above) believes the rivalry between Liverpool and Man United will continue to dominate 
English football.

It's a star-studded list littered with legendary names and they will all be strutting their stuff at the National Stadium tomorrow.

The likes of Ian Rush, Paul Parker, Steve McManaman and Lee Sharpe will be looking to turn back the clock and delight fans, when the Liverpool and Manchester United Masters teams lock horns in The Castlewood Group Battle of the Reds.

While the focus will be on the massive clash, the players took time off to conduct a football clinic for the students of Tanglin Trust School yesterday morning.

When the likes of Rush, Ronny Johnsen, Robbie Fowler and Jesper Blomqvist were not busy passing on the tricks of the trade, the stars of yesteryear spoke to the New Paper about the clubs that are closest to their hearts - Liverpool and Manchester United.

A lot has changed since Rush turned out for Liverpool for the final time in 1996.

For one, the Reds, who then had eight more league titles to their name than their closest challengers, are no longer the most successful club in English football.

Since Rush played the last of his 660 games for Liverpool, scoring 346 goals along the way, they have had co-managers, a wily Spanish tactician, the current England boss and even the return of the legendary Kenny Dalglish at the helm.

Yet they are still stuck at 18 league titles, the last of which came in 1990.

There is, however, renewed optimism at Anfield since the arrival of Juergen Klopp, and Rush is heartened by what he saw so far.

While the Welshman believes the rivalry between Liverpool and United will continue to dominate English football, he is tipping at best a top-four finish for the two arch-rivals.

"It's difficult to tell (who have the upper hand) really," Rush told The New Paper yesterday.


"It's really two new managers, although (United manager Louis) van Gaal's been there a little bit longer, so it'll be interesting to see what happens when they next meet (on Jan 16, 2016).

"These days, there's huge competition from (Manchester) City, and you've also got Tottenham and Arsenal, so it's always going to be difficult (to win the title). But both teams will be looking to try and finish inside the top four."

While Klopp has been heralded as Liverpool's saviour, van Gaal has come under much criticism for his cautious approach that many believe is unbecoming of a United side.

Former Red Devils centre back Johnsen, who played 150 games in six years at Old Trafford, refused to be overly critical of the Dutch tactician, although he admitted to being a fan of Klopp's managerial style.

The Norwegian said: "United have been getting a little bit of stick for how they play, but they're still winning games.

"They don't concede many goals and van Gaal has a plan to make sure the team are solid first, then he's going to develop from there.

"What Klopp did at Borussia Dortmund was very good and I like his style of football.

"Now that he's the new Liverpool manager, they will just get better."