Father apologises on behalf of dead son

Driver killed, five passengers hurt in Changi Coast Road accident

CRASH: (Top) The wrecked SUV being towed away.
CRASH: (Above) The body of Mr Yukio Matsuo being carried away.
CRASH: (Above) Mr Yukio Matsuo's father, Mr Hiroyuki Matsuo (in grey jacket) at the mortuary yesterday morning.

His son had only four months left to serve in his national service.

Mr Hiroyuki Matsuo, 54, told reporters that there were plans to send the 21-year-old for further studies overseas.

But now, the plans will never work out for Mr Yukio Matsuo.

He was killed on Friday at around 6.30am when the SUV he was driving went out of control, smashing head-on into a tree on Changi Coast Road.

The New Paper on Sunday understands that Mr Matsuo was an engineering technician in the Navy.

The car's five passengers, believed to be male Navy regulars in their 20s to 30s, were all injured in the accident.

According to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), the passengers were taken to Changi General Hospital. Two of them were unconscious.

REMORSE

In an interview with chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao, Mr Matsuo expressed his remorse towards the five injured passengers.

He said: "I hear that the other two unconscious victims are in serious condition.

"If they die, or have some permanent disability, I will feel very bad. I've done them wrong."

Mr Matsuo and his wife, Madam Grace Tham, run the Matsuo Sushi Restaurant at Goldhill Plaza. He declined to speak more when contacted by TNPS.

But Shin Min Daily News quoted Mr Matsuo as saying that his son used to take public transport, which was time-consuming.

The younger Mr Matsuo would reportedly come home close to midnight.

In order to cut down on his travelling time, he started driving to camp four months ago, in March.

In the report, his mother said the young man was a careful driver who would not speed.

The impact of the crash was so great that the younger Mr Matsuo was trapped inside the wreckage after the crash.

An SCDF spokesman told TNPS that he had to be extricated using hydraulic rescue tools. He was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Matsuo said he has been praying for the five injured passengers to recover.

He said: "I already lost my son, I don't want other victim's parents to experience the same as me."

Tags: Singapore, Traffic and navy

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DEDICATED: Chen Yixi says he works hard to get his roles. 

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Dick Lee's upcoming biopic will be 'a revelation'

Dick Lee's upcoming biopic Wonder Boy, starring Benjamin Kheng of The Sam Willows, focuses on his teenage years

STARS: (Left) Wonder Boy will be Benjamin Kheng's second time playing Dick Lee (right).



Just when you think local singer-songwriter Dick Lee has done it all, he is making his first foray into film-making - at the age of 60.

He starts shooting his directorial debut Wonder Boy - which is inspired by his experiences when he was a student at St. Joseph's Institution in the 70s - in October.

Local film director Daniel Yam will co-direct and singer-actor Benjamin Kheng, member of local band The Sam Willows, takes the lead playing Lee's younger self, an aspiring musician who comes from a rich family.

Lee, who co-wrote the script, told The New Paper at the press conference for the film yesterday: "Not much is known about my teenage days because a lot of people only know me from (album) The Mad Chinaman onwards, which was in the late 80s.

"So this film will be a revelation to a lot of people, even to my oldest audience."

COMING-OF-AGE

A coming-of-age film slated to be released in the third quarter of next year, Wonder Boy focuses on three years of Lee's life that resulted in his first album Life Story, which was released in 1974.

It will cost $1.3 million to make and filming will take place in Penang as, according to Lee, it most resembles 70s-era Singapore.

The movie also stars Constance Song, Julie Tan and Chen Yixi, the son of veteran actors Edmund Chen and Xiang Yun. (See report on right.)

Kheng, 25, who has television, film and stage experience, told TNP: "I feel the pressure for sure, but the greater thing at stake is to inspire musicians to pick up their instruments and write a song (through the film).

"I'm focusing my efforts on doing that."

The biggest challenge for him is interpreting the songs from the 70s.This is not Kheng's first time playing Lee. He did so four years ago for Esplanade's 10th anniversary musical production, National Broadway Company.

Lee said: "I was actually going to do a play called Wonder Boy about my growing up years, so I mentioned it to Ben (back then), but then the project became a movie."

Kheng still had to audition for the lead role, as Lee wanted to be sure he was the perfect choice.

Kheng said: "For my generation, I think most people would know him from (local reality TV singing series) Singapore Idol (where he was a judge).

"But as a musician, I'm exposed to (musical) Fried Rice Paradise, (album) Life Story and (musical) Beauty World, so I'm a big fan. When I first met him, it was extremely intimidating."

Lee added: "When we cast Ben, we didn't know him well. But when we sat down and talked to him, it proved my instincts right. His musicianship is one of the strong draws for me."

"Not much is known about my teenage days because a lot of people only know me from (album) The Mad Chinaman onwards, which was in the late 80s."

- Dick Lee

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Miss Universe Singapore 2015: 'I felt I wasn't good enough'

She was hesitant at first to join Miss Universe S'pore because she didn't have degree - but she did and won

Miss Lisa Marie White.
WINNER: Miss Lisa Marie White winning the Miss Universe S'pore crown last year.

She thought she wasn't Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) material because she had not been to university.

But MUS 2015 winner Miss Lisa Marie White, who has a Higher Nitec diploma in visual merchandising from the Institute of Technical Education College Central, was wrong.

The 23-year-old of Malay-Kiwi descent told The New Paper: "I was initially hesitant about joining, but I did in the end after being pushed by my friends and family.

"I felt I wasn't good enough and I didn't have what it takes... because most of the previous winners went to university and hold good degrees, but I don't have that."

She added: "I was intimidated, but I still went for it. I've always seen the MUS as an amazing opportunity, but I never thought it would actually happen to me. It was like a childhood dream come true."

Miss White was picked out of 50 hopefuls by a judging panel led by MUS' new national director and 2002 MUS winner Nuraliza Osman during a closed-door recruitment and selection process.

She was eventually unveiled at a Formula 1 after-party and catwalk show at nightspot Amber Lounge last September.

This year, Singapore's most prestigious pageant is back in a big way, with new presenter Singapore Turf Club and new imaging partner Canon Singapore on board.

For the first time, TNP will be the pageant's official media partner and coorganiser with the Miss Universe Singapore Organisation.

The winner will receive $10,000 cash and a Canon camera worth $1,000. Registration is now open to women aged 18 to 27. (See below.)

Miss White is "glad" for her successor because she'll get to enjoy "all these amazing opportunities" and "so much exposure, help and recognition" with TNP and the new sponsors on board.

She said: "The New Paper has had New Face and look how far those girls have gone. It will surely put the new MUS winner on a different level."

CRASH COURSE

After her crowning, pageant newbie Miss White went straight to work to prepare for the international competition in Las Vegas, backed by an A-list team.

"It was really rushed because I had only two months to train, but I was blown away by how down-to-earth and encouraging everyone was, really devoting so much time and effort into helping me be the best I could be in that short amount of time.

"They also taught me to be strong and persevere, and they made sure I ignored the critics," said Miss White.

She added: "The whole experience (of training) was kind of a shock to the system. Some days I felt really good, but some days I was really stressed (and) I would cry because I couldn't eat chocolate.

"You don't realise how you take all these things for granted until you take part in a pageant and you look at a cookie and you've never wanted a cookie more in your life."

Still, MUS helped the 1.73m-tall freelance model and aspiring actress-host to get her foot in the door of the local entertainment industry.

Miss White has been hosting and emceeing events, is acting in Channel 5's drama Tanglin and has appeared on Suria show Interns. She has travelled with the Singapore Tourism Board to Thailand and Indonesia.

A month ago, she was invited by Miss Universe India 2015-turned-Bollywood starlet Urvashi Rautela to the South Indian International Movie Awards, which was held in Singapore for the first time.

Miss White said: "I wouldn't have had any of these opportunities if not for MUS, and I wouldn't have met all these amazing girls. Till this day, we all communicate in a WhatsApp group and no matter which country I travel to, I have a friend."

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