Man who slashed girlfriend's ex with parang sentenced

Man jailed six years for ambushing girlfriend's married ex-boyfriend. Judge: Attack was ‘shocking, vicious and violent’

BRUTAL: Wong Guoliang (photo) slashed Mr Fredrick Toh with a parang, causing his guts to spill out. Parts of Mr Toh's small and large intestines could not be salvaged.

When he found out his new girlfriend once had an affair with a man who turned out to be married, he decided to teach the man a lesson.

But it was a brutal lesson. He attacked him with a parang, leaving his victim with serious injuries.

On May 29 last year, Wong Guoliang ambushed Mr Fredrick Toh Cheng Chye, 36, and slashed him five times - on his back, skull, cheek, right arm and abdomen, which made his intestines spill out.

Wong, 34, was yesterday sentenced to six years' jail and nine strokes of the cane.

He was also fined $1,000 and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for 20 years.

In Wong's defence, a psychiatrist had reported that Wong has "personality disorder" and he acted "impulsively".

Yesterday, District Judge Jasvender Kaur rebutted those claims, describing the attack as "shocking, vicious and violent".

Said Judge Kaur: "...You had planned to commit the offence and your conduct cannot be described as impulsive...

"There was significant premeditation to lure the victim and to avoid detection."

Wong had a blog. In it, he said he first found out about Mr Toh early last year when he was talking to his girlfriend. She had asked him about his previous relationships and told him her last relationship was with a man who turned out to be married.

On May 28 last year, Wong called Mr Toh, who is a renovation contractor, pretending he needed some renovation done.

The pair agreed to meet the next day at Hillview Warehouse in Hillview Terrace.
At around 10.30am on May 29, Wong drove his friend's BMW, without consent, to the warehouse.

BANNED

Wong had been banned from driving in 2008 for eight years due to traffic-related offences.

Mr Toh arrived there at around 11am. As he waited, Wong approached from a staircase landing.

All Mr Toh saw before the attack was a man wearing a surgical mask.

Somehow, the bleeding Mr Toh escaped by staggering to a carpark where he lay down and waited for help.

Yesterday, the prosecution told the judge the police were able to track Wong from closed-circuit television footage of him driving the BMW.

The court also learnt Wong had used a different telephone number to contact Mr Toh, in addition to using the name "Michael" to hide his identity.

Added Judge Kaur: "To ensure the victim will be attacked unawares, you hid the parang behind your back as you approached him... You slashed the victim five times before he managed to escape. This is not a case of a single blow but a sustained assault."

Wong's defence lawyer, Mr Steven Lam, had previously said his client has a tendency to indulge in fantasy to cope with stress.

Mr Lam had said: "One of the recurring figures (he fantasised about) is Michael whom our client regards as his guardian angel.

"Our client felt he acted on the instructions of Michael, who wanted him to teach Mr Toh a lesson to prevent Mr Toh from causing harm to more women."

Wong's violent attack caused Mr Toh to be hospitalised for 11 days and lose parts of his digestive system.

A 20cm of Mr Toh's small intestine and 2cm of the large intestine could not be salvaged, court documents showed.

When Mr Toh was contacted yesterday evening, he said he was not aware his attacker had been sentenced.

Harmony the key word for new athletics president, says Godfrey Robert

New athletics president must set the tone for officials to work in harmony

TIGHT CONTEST: Edmond Pereira (above) and Ho Mun Cheong are battling it out for the top job in Singapore Athletics.
TIGHT CONTEST: Edmond Pereira and Ho Mun Cheong (above) are battling it out for the top job in Singapore Athletics.

New president, old problems.

Judging by current vitriolic rhetoric, said mostly in private, by the two camps fighting for control of Singapore Athletics, I feel that the sport is on track for a gloomy scenario.

Whoever wins the tight contest for president, between Edmond Pereira and Ho Mun Cheong, at the association's annual general meeting on Monday can expect a rough ride.

Much of the blame would fall on the voting system. For, once the leadership battle is settled, the 21 affiliates will have to then vote in individual management committee members.

Therein lies the problem, as a mixed bag is anticipated, and among them will be obstinate officials who could ruffle feathers.

And because of them the in-fighting, as claimed by outgoing president Tang Weng Fei, that plagued past management committees could continue.

Lawyer Pereira, 66, and engineer Ho, 68, are both former sprinters, but they are as different as chalk and cheese.

The strong-willed Pereira is in the mould of former president Loh Lin Kok, also a lawyer, who had run the association with a firm, no-nonsense approach.

Ho is crafted in the personality of immediate former president Tang, with a niceness bordering on being a gentleman.

IMPRESSIVE

Both Pereira, head of TeamAthletics, and Ho, leading Team Achievers, have submitted line-ups that are impressive - many officials have sound knowledge and loads of experience in sports administration.

And both manifestos are littered with promises, pledges, proposals and plans to take Singapore Athletics to a new high.

But the tone will have to be set by the man who matters most - the president.

I have known local athletics presidents of the past.

Abdul Rahim Ishak, who served from 1966 to 1975, had a leadership style that suited that pioneering period - that of finding the right people to serve the sport.

AW Kirby, who succeeded him and served until 1981, was a marketing man who suited those times when national sports associations were self-funding.

As general manager of Rothmans of Pall Mall, he was in a perfect position to raise funds until the time when cigarette advertising was banned.

Under the two presidents, athletics thrived, thanks also to national coaches Tan Eng Yoon, Patrick Zehnder, Maurice Nicholas and Tan Kim Seng, who adopted professional training methods.

Also, the club scene was active, and athletes, irrespective of which club they belonged to, displayed a sense of togetherness on and off the track.

Then, there was a glut of athletes fighting for national places, and choosing a relay team for the selectors was a delight, as there were many runners vying for limited spots.

And because of the stiff competition at home, national records fell like ninepins within days and months.

The irony is that some of those records are still in place. A recent report in this paper highlighted Chee Swee Lee's women's 400 metres record of 55.08sec, clocked en route to the gold medal at the 1974 Asian Games in Teheran, that is still intact.

When Loh took over as athletics president in 1981, he faced many barriers in his quest to resurrect the sport to its heyday of the Sixties and Seventies.

Among them, Singapore's focus on education at a time when professionalism was making inroads into sport.

Also, the rise of the regional challenge in the form of countries like Vietnam and the Philippines at the SEA Games, and China, South Korea and the Middle Eastern countries on the Asian Games stage, made it harder for our athletes to win medals.

Loh ruled with a firm hand, but he also had a soft side, easily noticed by his team of volunteer officials, including Nicholas (as vice-president), who had camaraderie - often mixing work with pleasure.

The picture wasn't always rosy for Loh, who also had his detractors, and squabbles were a feature of his presidency. But deserving athletes were always given their due, be it overseas training or competitions.

Loh passed the baton to Tang in 2010, and just recently the latter said he would not run for the post, complaining of disunity within his organisation and also reports of management committee officials showing no respect for his position.

So, in this period of turmoil, unlike in the times of Rahim Ishak and Kirby, what should the incoming president bring to the sport?

He has to be tough, especially if his slate of candidates do not all make it to their respective management positions.

In that context, I was impressed by what Pereira, a former district judge, said last Friday when he presented his team.

He told this paper: "I believe we can do a job, but it can be done only if I have the right people alongside me.

"If you come in for ego and glory, then this is not the place for you.

"The sport will still move forward, because they will have to follow my pace as a leader.

"...I have different ways of dealing with issues (compared to Tang). Even if it's only myself who gets elected, then I will have to get the committee to agree (to plans), and I will set the tone."

The new president will also have to be on top of situations, which means he has to sacrifice time and sometimes money.

I have known the affable Ho for more than 40 years now. As a runner, he spoke little, mostly letting his feet do the talking with many impressive 400m runs.

APPROACH

So, when he spoke of a consensual approach to plans and proposals, I wasn't surprised.

This approach can work only if everyone's thinking falls in tandem with that of the president. If not, his convincing powers will be put to the test.

But the usually calm Ho fired a salvo, in his interview with this paper on Wednesday, when he said: "(Pereira) states that he has the mandate from past presidents (Loh and Tang).

"He fails to recognise that his mandate should come from the affiliates, not presidents or past presidents... who do not carry votes."

Such acrimony before AGMs is to be expected.

But let's bear in mind what our sprinting legend C. Kunalan (the outgoing vice-president and a member of Pereira's team) stated in his recent appeal to affiliates.

Kunalan said: "Something went wrong at the last elections. At the start of the elections, our adviser told the House to 'elect those who can work'.

"He should have said 'elect those who can work together'."

So, for athletics' sake, whoever is elected must rise above petty politics and camp allegiance and work with the incoming team.

Good sense must prevail, or else the sport and its protagonists would be the real victims.

Lucky escape for 'rubbish' Geylang

Eagles coach Hasrin says his team only played well in the last 10 minutes

JUBILATION: Geylang International players (in white) celebrate the equaliser against Home United (in red).

HOME UNITED 1

(Shahrin Saberin 50)

GEYLANG INT'L 2

(Sahil Suhaimi 88, Gabriel Quak 90+2)

 

It was a match between two teams that had started the season with high hopes, but desperately needed a win to get out of their slumps.

For much of last night's Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League clash at Bishan Stadium, it looked like Home United were going to do just that, leading through Shahrin Saberin's 50th-minute opener and looking in complete control.

Then, in three dramatic minutes right at the death, Sahil Suhaimi equalised for Geylang International before Gabriel Quak struck in injury-time to complete a 2-1 comeback victory.

It was a lucky escape for the Eagles, and coach Hasrin Jailani was the first to admit that.

"I don't think we played well at all," said the former Singapore international, whose side had lost two successive games. The first half was rubbish and even at the start of the second half we weren't in control.

"Only in the last 10 minutes did the players realise that a win was very, very important.

"We can consider ourselves very lucky but, at the end of the day, it's a morale-boosting win for us, especially with two games against Albirex Niigata in the RHB Singapore Cup coming up."

The Eagles certainly rode their luck, with Home creating the better chances, coming close after just two minutes when Ken Ilso's first-timer drew a flying save from Syazwan Buhari. Ilso threatened again in the 26th minute but Syazwan kept out the Dane's 20-metre free-kick.

Geylang spurned a golden opportunity just before half-time when Faritz Hameed broke free and rounded Zulfairuuz Rudy, only to fire wide from an acute angle.

Home finally scored five minutes after the break when Khairul Nizam nodded a Zulfahmi Arifin corner into the path of Shahrin, who stabbed the ball home.

They could have doubled their advantage when Nizam raced through on goal and curled a low shot off the post, before Syazwan brilliantly parried a fierce drive from Ambroise Begue in the 88th minute.

That proved fatal as Geylang responded immediately with the equaliser via a looping Sahil header. Two minutes into added time, Quak sealed the win after latching on to a knock-down by Shariff Samat.

"In the end, it was down to our failure to convert our dominance and the failure to deal with two long balls," said Home coach Philippe Aw,.

TNP MAN OF 
THE MATCH: Syazwan Buhari (Geylang)

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Singapore Athletics suspends coach over alleged molest of female athletes

Singapore Athletics (SA) has suspended a coach amid an investigation into improper conduct.

The New Paper understands that the male coach, who worked with national athletes, had allegedly molested three female athletes on separate occasions.

Outgoing athletics chief Tang Weng Fei, told TNP yesterday that he had instructed SA's general manager Jaime Cheong and secretary Ho Mun Cheong to lodge a police report over the matter.

This decision came after the SA's legal advisers pored over statements made by the affected athletes and the coach during an internal inquiry over the past week.

Ho told TNP: "According to our legal advisers, we need to follow protocol. We are obligated by law to report such matters to the police, whether the (complainant) wants to or not."

In one incident, the coach was said to have improperly touched an athlete during a session working with gym weights.

COMPLAINT

Sources say the incidents happened over more than two months.

The affected athletes lodged a complaint to SA, who in turn suspended the coach.

The athletes, however, are understood to be hesitant to bring the matter up to police.

The management committee of the SA has been dealing with the matter just as the national sports association gets set for a huge battle over leadership, with the annual general meeting scheduled on Monday.

Last week, Tang revealed that after a six-year reign as SA president, he will not stand for re-election.

Two former sprinters, Edmond Pereira, a lawyer, and current SA secretary Ho, a director of an engineering firm, are bidding to succeed Tang.

Bowlers sweep Sportsgirl, Sportswoman and Team of the Year awards

She bags second Sportswoman of the Year crown, Joey lands Sportsgirl accolade

BOWLED OVER: Sportsgirl of the Year Joey Yeo (left) and Sportswoman of the Year Shayna Ng.

It was a night of smiles for the ladies from Singapore Bowling at the 2016 Singapore Sports Awards yesterday.

Shayna Ng was crowned Sportswoman of the Year, while Joey Yeo claimed the Sportsgirl of the Year prize at the Raffles City Convention Centre.

With guest-of-honour Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Social and Family Development and president of the Singapore National Olympic Council, and Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, and a who's who of the local sporting fraternity in attendance, Ng, who won gold in the All-Events at the women's world championships last December, was also part of the trio that was named the Team of the Year (event) for the second successive occasion, along with Cherie Tan and New Hui Fen.

For Ng, it was her second individual win after her triumph in 2013 and the 23-year-old said: "The feeling is still the same, it's not like you can get tired of winning such a title.

"We can't always be winning all the time but, with hard work, it's possible to taste success from time to time.

"There's really no secret to winning, but it's just all about learning from your mistakes and training harder to get back to or even better than how you previously were."

CHALLENGES

Ng held off challenges from reigning Sportswoman of the Year, shooter Jasmine Ser, table tennis star Feng Tianwei and canoeist Stephenie Chen.

Yeo, 18, won gold at the World Bowling Open last July.

"I was really surprised when I found out that I was a finalist for the Sportsgirl award," she said. "I won the world open but this award was never in my mind.

"Of course, winning it feels good.

"To be chosen as the Sportsgirl of the Year over other star youth athletes who have won many prestigious accolades makes it more honourable and memorable."

Yeo sustained an injury in her quadriceps while bowling at the recent Singapore International Open.

She revealed she will be undergoing rehabilitation and hopes to return to the lanes as soon as possible.

Looking forward, she hopes to be part of the SEA Games squad that will do battle in Kuala Lumpur next year.

"We can't predict any medals or anything, but there is one thing that we can promise, and that is to give of our best," said Yeo.

"And we'll put in our heart and soul into our training so that we can do that.

"What we hope to achieve there is to better the previous SEA Games scores for Team Singapore."

The yearly event is organised by the Singapore National Olympic Council and Sport Singapore.

Schooling is Sportsman of the Year a third time

Schooling bags third Sportsman of the Year crown as elite athletes get set for Rio

FULL FOCUS 
ON RIO: Swimmer 
Joseph Schooling (above) has an Olympic medal in his sights.

Feted, toasted, hyped and skyped; even as a record 232 athletes were lauded, there was an unmistakable buzz in the air at the Singapore Sports Awards last night at the Raffles City Convention Centre.

Seven out of the 16 athletes in the Sportsman, Sportswoman, Sportsboy and Sportsgirl of the Year categories (four nominees each) are bound for the Olympics, and the event carried the vibe of a grand send-off for Rio 2016.

Swimming landed three big gongs, as Olympic medal-hopeful Joseph Schooling and coach Sergio Lopez successfully defended their Sportsman of the Year and Coach of the Year awards, respectively.

It was Schooling's third win after his first in 2012, while Quah Zheng Wen added another Sportsboy of the Year to his 2012 triumph.

POTENTIAL WINNERS

While table tennis has delivered medals at the last two Games - Beijing 2008 and London 2012 - it is evident that the paddlers are no longer the only ones regarded as potential Olympic winners.

Singapore National Olympic Council secretary general Chris Chan said: "It definitely bodes well for Team Singapore in Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020 and beyond that we are seeing diversity in Olympic-medal prospects.

"Schooling can beat anyone including Michael Phelps on his day, shooter Jasmine Ser (nominated for Sportswoman of the Year, won by bowler Shayna Ng) has broken new barriers by medalling at World Cup events and can surprise with the new format of scores being reset for the finals.

"Another Sportsman of the Year nominee, sailor Colin Cheng, has already placed 15th four years ago and sailing is looking at top-10 finishes this year.

"These athletes, along with the paddlers... have Olympic experience and they are of a good sporting age, so they can still get better.

"It is part of a national progression for Singapore to reach this stage. Like Iceland at the ongoing European Championship, we are showing that it is possible for smaller nations to do well in sports on a global stage.

"Thanks to sports science, government and parental support, we have made advances but, in the end, it's all about the athletes who have to make the sacrifices and commitment in their respective sports to get to where they are."

Schooling's world championship 100m butterfly bronze played a big part in his third Sportsman of the Year triumph.

The future of Singapore's Olympic sports also looks bright, with young sailors Jodie Lai, Daniel Hung, James Koh, Daniel Yazid and Koh Yi Nian winning the Sportsboy/Sportsgirl Team of the Year for their team racing title win at last year's Optimist World Championship.

BELIEF

Sport Singapore CEO Lim Teck Yin said: "With more success at the highest level, young athletes will now believe more fervently that they too can do well on the world stage.

"I am pleased and proud that Singapore sport is beginning to exemplify the spirit of excellence of our country.

"The medal contenders for this edition know what their targets are and there is no need to put more pressure on them, while I'm sure those eyeing Tokyo have already started preparations, knowing that it often takes more than just one Olympic cycle of work to be successful."

After a record-breaking SEA Games haul of 259 medals last year, Team Singapore are focused on another special outing, this time at the Olympics.

"None of us wants to be mediocre," said Schooling.

"Other countries are putting us in the medal mix and that says a lot. We have good athletes with talent and potential and I hope our success can rub off on each other."

Singapore's chef de mission for the Olympic Games, Low Teo Ping, is "optimistic" his team of up to 24 athletes can add to the Republic's overall haul of two silvers and two bronzes.

He said: "We have moved ahead of just banking on a single sport, and accolades such as the Singapore Sports Awards tonight will spur more athletes to do better.

"From the feedback I got, our Olympians are on track in their preparations and I am optimistic about our medal prospects."

Other countries are putting us in the medal mix and that says a lot. We have good athletes with talent and potential and I hope our success can rub off on each other.

— Singapore swimmer Joseph Schooling


SINGAPORE SPORTS AWARDS HONOUR ROLL

Sportsman of the Year
Joseph Schooling (Swimming)

Sportswoman of the Year
Shayna Ng (Bowling)

Sportsboy of the Year
Quah Zheng Wen (Swimming)

Sportsgirl of the Year
Joey Yeo (Bowling)

Coach of the Year
Sergio Lopez (Swimming)

Team of the Year (Event)
Shayna Ng, Cherie Tan and New Hui Fen (Bowling trios team at the World Women’s Championships)

Team of the Year (Team Sport)
Netball — 28th SEA Games team

Sportsboy/Sportsgirl Team of the Year (Event)

Jodie Lai, Daniel Hung, James Koh, Daniel Yazid and Koh Yi Nian (Sailing — Optimist World Championships)

Best Sports Event of the Year (Local)
Great Eastern Women’s Run 2015

Best Sports Event of the Year (International)
BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global

Most Inspiring Sports
Story of the Year “On his travels, patience is the greatest weapon” by Rohit Brijnath for The Sunday Times (The Straits Times)

Special Award for Fortitude
Zhu Xiaoping (Gymnastics)

Special Award for Sportsmanship
Ashley Liew (Athletics)

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