Passionate footballer with lots of potential
Ex-S.League player killed in Bangkok after lovers' dispute
Former S.League player killed in Bangkok after domestic dispute; girlfriend's ex-husband arrested.
He went to Bangkok to watch a football match and made plans to meet his nephew.
But former S.League footballer Sivaneswaran Ramalingam, 29, failed to turn up for their meeting last Friday.
Yesterday, Mr Rajandran Ramasamy, 64, told The New Paper that he later found out to his horror that his Bangkok-based nephew had been killed on Saturday after a dispute with his live-in Belgian girlfriend of five years, Ms Sarah Gieghase.
The alleged killer was another Belgian - her business partner - whom Mr Rajandran knew only as "Kevin".
Yesterday, in a phone interview from Bangkok, a Thai police officer told TNP that Kevin is Ms Gieghase's former husband.
The officer, who declined to be named, added that Kevin had been arrested for committing grievous hurt, not murder, as he had not intended to kill Mr Sivaneswaran.
He said the incident was sparked by a domestic dispute in the couple's condominium apartment during which Mr Sivaneswaran was violent towards Ms Gieghase.
Kevin and a friend showed up at the apartment after Ms Gieghase called her parents for help.
The officer said Kevin intervened by restraining Mr Sivaneswaran in a chokehold, but he had not meant to kill him, only to subdue him.
When police officers arrived at the apartment, Kevin was still holding on to Mr Sivaneswaran's neck, he added.
The officer also said Ms Gieghase had wanted to separate from Mr Sivaneswaran since October last year.
According to Singapore's National Environment Agency's permit to cremate Mr Sivaneswaran's body, he had died of strangulation.
Mr Rajandran, who is self-employed, expressed concerns over the circumstances surrounding his nephew's death.
He told TNP at the wake in Bishan before Mr Sivaneswaran's cremation yesterday: "How can it not be murder? My nephew has been killed. I don't think Siva was violent towards Sarah. I know my nephew.
"He's not a violent man and they have a three-year-old son together. They were a loving couple and she even came to Singapore in April to celebrate the wedding of Siva's brother."
Mr Sivaneswaran was an S.League footballer with Sengkang Punggol (now Hougang United) in 2010.He joined Thai Premier League side Chonburi FC at the end of the season that year.
Mr Rajandran said he last spoke to his nephew last Thursday evening just before flying to Bangkok, and that Mr Sivaneswaran had promised to meet him the next day.
He waited for him at a football stadium and became worried when he failed to show up.
Early on Saturday, his brother, who is Mr Sivaneswaran's father, called from Singapore to say that his nephew was in trouble.
"My brother told me that my nephew could even be dead. I rushed to his condo. It was like a nightmare," he said.
At the ground floor, he met Ms Gieghase, who tearfully told him: "The body has just left."
She told him that they had a misunderstanding that morning.
Mr Rajandran said: "She told me that she phoned her parents when Siva tried to assault her. The parents then called Kevin and another Belgian man for help.
"Sarah said she let them into the condo and then left the apartment. She said she didn't know what exactly happened next. She later called Siva's father, who then phoned me."
Mr Rajandran said Mr Sivaneswaran's father flew to Bangkok that morning with another son to arrange for his body to be brought home on Sunday.
More than 100 people paid their final respects to Mr Sivaneswaran at the wake yesterday afternoon.
His family members were too busy with the final rites to be interviewed. Ms Gieghase and her son did not attend the funeral.
One mourner, Mr Ashley Ow, 30, said he was shocked to learn of the tragedy from his friends on Saturday morning.
The former Young Lions player said: "Siva was my best friend. I've known him since 2001 when we were with Sembawang Rangers. He was a very nice guy - jovial and easy-going."
Mr Ow said he had met Ms Gieghase many times and understands that she is still married to Kevin.
"She's a nice lady - very pleasant. I've met Kevin once before but we didn't talk."
Asked if he was aware of Mr Sivaneswaran's purported violence towards Ms Gieghase, he replied: "I've never seen him violent towards anyone. It's totally out of character for him to be violent."
Mr Rajandran said he was told that Kevin had been released on bail of about one million baht (S$39,000).
He said: "I'm unhappy about this and I expect justice to be served. My nephew is dead and he didn't deserve to die this way."
VIXX performs in Singapore
Just a week ago, VIXX members Ravi and Leo fainted during the K-pop boy band’s concert in Mexico City due to dizziness from the high altitude and heat.
This episode left some Singapore fans attending the sextet’s gig here last Sunday night deeply worried, to the extent that Min Tan, 17, and Hannah Soh, 15, printed and distributed 1,000 placards with “Please be healthy” written in Korean.
Arriving early at the concert venue, MegaBox Convention Centre at Big Box, Min and her friends placed their placards on all seats in the $268 Category One section and some in the $198 Category Two section, so that fans would raise them during VIXX’s performance of the song Love Equation and thus catch the guys’ attention.
“I was extremely worried, especially after watching the video of Ravi fainting,” Min, a student at Raffles Junior College, told The New Paper.
One day after the Mexico City incident, she teamed up with Hannah and four other friends - the group first met at the ticket queue at VIXX’s Live Fantasia Utopia concert at the Singapore EXPO exactly one year ago - and began working on the placards ahead of the Singapore show.
VIXX fans Hannah Soh (left) and Min Tan (right) holding up the “Please be healthy”.
Min said: “Even though I’m not sure if (VIXX) saw the placard, I feel accomplished because, as a fan, I managed to do something for them.”
But the girls’ fears were unfounded, as Leo, 25, and Ravi, 23, joined bandmates N, 25, Ken, 24, Hongbin, 22, and Hyuk, 20, on stage, dancing energetically and singing passionately for the 2,000-strong crowd throughout their two-hour set.
The concert went by smoothly, with VIXX making no mention of Leo and Ravi’s health or what had happened during the Mexico City concert.
Instead, they focused on lighter topics as they interacted with the audience multiple times between songs such as Chained Up, Beautiful Killer and Dynamite.
VIXX's Leo at the concert. Leo was one of two members who fainted at the band's concert in Mexico City one week prior (May 22, 2016).
During one segment, all six members answered a question submitted by fans, each choosing one of countless Post-it notes on a board.
N said: “The place (in Singapore) that I really want to go to is Orchard Road. I have a really great memory of shopping there.”
VIXX also mentioned that they ate kaya toast before the concert, and joked that the food in Singapore was making them gain weight.
Hannah, a student at Tanjong Katong Girls’ School, gushed: “To be able to see them at both VIXX Live Fantasia Utopia last year and tonight is a blessing. I’m so grateful to watch their impressive performances, stunning vocals and dorky interactions.”
Min added: “I’m extremely relieved that (all of them) were fine and managed to finish the concert well.”
Depp to fight abuse claims
Ex-girlfriend pens letter of support for US actor
School of frock: Gowns Galore
The Cannes Film Festival has drawn to a close and we're recovering from gown fatigue, but it ain't over till we put some of the attendees through one final judging
ELLE FANNING (A)
The Neon Demon premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in France
Gown: Zuhair Murad
Among actresses who've played live-action Disney princesses, Fanning stands out as the fairest of them all off-screen. Her pink floral embroidered ballgown is the stuff of fairy tales and as swoon-worthy as it gets. Thanks to her, this year's Cannes Film Festival has a happy ending.
EVA HERZIGOVA (B+)
amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS event at the Cannes Film Festival in France
Dress: Christian Dior
Neither the satin cape nor the patterned minidress are particularly remarkable on their own, but throw in pitch-perfect styling and we get magic. It's been ages since the former supermodel looked so painfully chic.
VANESSA PARADIS (D+)
amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS event at the Cannes Film Festival in France
I hate to get literal, but in this crazy black frock, Paradis is a walking old crow who's about to cast a very bad spell on someone.
MAYA RUDOLPH (D)
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping premiere in New York City
Jumpsuit: Not known
The mum of four better be expecting a fifth here, because otherwise there's no excuse for that bulging belly ensconced in the world's least flattering, most unsightly one-piece.
Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas
Dress: Yigal Azrouel
From head to toe, this is the sartorial equivalent of a bad horror movie. After we're done with the silent screaming, let's just avert our eyes and never speak of it again.
WHO WORE IT BETTER?
KESHA VS MADONNA
Both turned up at the same event in purple to honour the late Prince, but while one nailed it, the other just plain failed. Being in hibernation for the past two years, Kesha seems to have left her mariachi band, sombrero and general sense of good taste behind. Madonna, on the other hand, commits to her fashion tribute all the way in a strikingly groovy suit, right down to the paisley print and ruffled lace. Bonus points for not getting her boobs and butt out this time.
Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, May 22
Pantsuit: Vintage Nudie
Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, May 22
Reader sends in pictures of dramatic crash
He was getting ready for bed when he heard a crash outside.
Mr Khew Zong Jie, 32, looked out of his bedroom window to see a car reduced to a crumpled heap after it had crashed into a road divider at Jalan Boon Lay.
The insurance agent immediately informed The New Paper via e-mail and attached pictures of the crash.
A man refused to be sent to hospital when an ambulance arrived at the scene.
Mr Khew thought that the report published last Thursday was well-written and was amazed his picture had turned out so well.
"I usually read TNP's online news once in awhile, but I think I will subscribe to it now," he said.
Another reader, who wanted to be known only as Kevin, 26, contacted TNP for the first time about an accident last Monday.
He was in an ambulance with Timothy, 14, his younger brother, when it collided with a van in front.
Timothy was being rushed to KK Women's and Children's Hospital for an abnormally fast heart rate and high temperature on May 21.
The ambulance collided into the back of the van and Timothy sustained more injuries. The report was published last Tuesday.
"I wanted to raise awareness of how important it is to give way to emergency vehicles," said Kevin.
He liked how precise and succinct the news was presented in TNP.
For sharing their stories, each hotline caller will receive a $100 KFC voucher.
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Too young to compete, too young to stop gaming
The two young gamers had helped their team, Rigel, to victory in The Legends Circuit (TLC) Winter Singapore, a competition for the multiplayer online game League of Legends.
The win in the competition held in December last year meant Rigel would represent Singapore in the Garena Premier League (GPL) Spring 2016, a competition for teams in South-east Asia.
Despite being key members of the team, Kenneth Goh, 15, and Timothy Lim, 16, could not compete in the GPL held in Kuala Lumpur last month because of their age.
The competition, where six top teams across South-east Asia played against each other, has a minimum age requirement of 17.
Rigel, initially known as Corvus, was formed early last year and won several competitions in Singapore such as the Garena Novice Cup and Sitex 2015.
Kenneth, who was said to be the "best player at the foot of this circuit's league" and Timothy, who makes outstanding plays, had to be replaced by members from a rival team from Singapore.
They were upset that they could not take part with their other three team mates, after fighting so hard for a spot in the GPL.
Kenneth said: "I felt really depressed because I wasn't able to show how good I am on stage. I cried in my room.
"Because I'm still very young, there was no choice. I had to let other people replace me."
The GPL is a stepping stone for teams wanting to compete in international competitions, with the pinnacle being the World Championships.
Rigel, without their two teenage players, finished fifth at the GPL held in KL. Both youngsters felt the team could have done better if they had been in the team.
Competing against veteran players who had more experience in TLC, Rigel, though, was not expecting to win anyway.
Rigel's leader, Mr Poongundran Ranganathan, 22, said: "Their absence definitely affected the team's performance in GPL and it was difficult playing with two new players."
But the two teens know they are still young and have many opportunities in the future to continue playing competitively.
Timothy said he looked up to Martin Lew, who replaced him as a marksman for Rigel, and tried to make good use of this situation.
"Sometimes it's good to take a break and watch the games from another perspective," he said.
However, both Kenneth and Timothy were back with Rigel at the Singapore TLC Summer 2016 match 1 held yesterday.
WHAT IS LEAGUE OF LEGENDS?
League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena game developed by Riot Games in 2009. Players form teams of five, working together to invade and destroy the enemy’s base.
With 67 million people playing every month and 27 million playing every day, it has grown to have over 20 competitions worldwide and over eight competitions in Singapore.
The League of Legends’ 2015 World Championship cash prize money of over US$1 million (S$1.34 million) and Summoner’s Cup was won by Korean team, SKTelecom T1.
Singapore game gets international kudos
Local game developer's role-playing game getting international kudos even before it's completed
Working on the role-playing game Masquerada: Songs And Shadows was already a lifetime dream come true.
But that dream has levelled up for local game developer Ian Gregory Tan, co-founder and creative director of local game company, Witching Hour Studios.
The still-to-be-completed game has already attracted international attention.
It beat more than 80 others to receive the title of Best Indie Game by Japanese magazine Dengeki PlayStation at the Tokyo Game Show last year.
It has also been featured in various news and gaming sites online, like Forbes, The Daily Dot and Polygon.
Mr Tan, who leads the 14-man team at his studio, told The New Paper: "I never would have dreamed of doing what I'm doing now.
"It's thanks to each and every person here who is helping to make our collective dream come true.
"Of course, it is also thanks to the many people who supported us as well."
The support he refers to includes the more than 2,000 people who contributed to a Kickstarter campaign that his studio launched.
The two-week long campaign, which began on April 21, was started to fund the game's last leg of development.
The company's other co-founder and executive producer, Mr Brian Kwek, said there was no expectation for the campaign.
He said: "To be honest, we were not sure how it would do. The game would still have been made even if the campaign did not go through, but we wanted to try and push, so we could make our game even better."
The campaign closed past its £45,000 (S$88,600) target, raking in more than £60,000 (S$118,000) when it ended on May 5.
More than 30 per cent of those who contributed were from Singapore.
BIG NAME SUPPORT
Said Mr Tan: "To say we are thrilled is an understatement. It's so great to know that people here and those overseas believe in us and the journey we want to take them on."
But the support extended beyond the crowdfunding campaign.
This month, expressions of personal support for Masquerada: Songs And Shadows came in from big names in the video game industry, including Mr Ken Levine, writer of first-person shooter game Bioshock, and Mr Mike Laidlaw, lead designer of the Dragon Age role-playing game.
Said Mr Kwek: "I was shocked. In fact, I am still in shock, it's crazy. You think you're just doing what you can and, boom, people like these take notice."
Witching Hour Studios also generated a lot of buzz for attracting well-known voice talents from the US television and video game industry.
These include Jennifer Hale (Commander Shepard, Mass Effect), Matthew Mercer (Chrom, Fire Emblem: Awakening), Dave Fennoy (Lee, The Walking Dead) and Ashly Burch (Tiny Tina, Borderlands 2 and Chloe, Life Is Strange).
Felicia Day, best known for her performances on TV shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Supernatural, will also help voice a character.
But the talents in the game are not all from overseas. Local singer-songwriter Inch Chua has written and recorded a song, Broken Clay, for the game.
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is slated for release in the third quarter of this year for Steam and PlayStation 4.
Mr Tan said: "Everyone is really motivated to create the best game we can and I hope that this can set a great precedence for the future of gaming in Singapore."
"I was shocked, in fact, I am still in shock, it's crazy. You think you're just doing what you can and, boom, people like these take notice."
- Witching Hour Studios' co-founder and executive producer Brian Kwek
WHAT IS MASQUERADA: SONGS AND SHADOWS
Masquerada, the third game by Witching Hour Studios won the Best Indie Game award from established Japanese magazine Dengeki PlayStation at last year’s Tokyo Game Show.
The tactical action role-playing game will feature pausable real-time combat and will be offered on Steam for PC/Mac and PlayStation 4.
The studio’s other titles are its mobile-only debut, Ravenmark: Scourge Of Estellion, and its follow-up, Romans In My Carpet! mobile game.