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YOUR SAY: Public transport here still has 'way to go'

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WATCH: Singaporean undergrad is world pull-up champ

NUS undergrad does 44 pull-ups in 
1 minute to break 
world record

When one mentions achievements, many people think of money, medals, or possibly of getting a driving licence or a degree.

For Mr Yeo Kim Yeong, 25, it was to break a world record.

And not just any world record.

The National University of Singapore undergraduate spent a year training to break the Guinness World Record for the most number of pull-ups in one minute.

Last week, he did 44 pull-ups, beating the previous record of 42 set by an American, Mr David Bourdon, in March last year.

But it was not an easy journey for the 1.6m-tall strongman, who took a leave of absence from school for a semester to achieve the feat.

He had set his mind on breaking the record in July last year, when he had just completed year two of his history studies, but everyone around him persuaded him to reconsider.

"My friends, my family, my school, everyone said I shouldn't do it. They'd say things like, why can't you just complete your degree then try?" he said.

"But I knew then that I had to do it. It was now or never."

When asked what he meant, he said he had a "gut feeling" he would not have a chance to do it once he graduates.

And he claimed he did it without any pills or protein shakes. Just lots of pull-ups and a 100 per cent natural diet of high protein home-cooked food of fish and chicken.


Mr Yeo, who weighs 54kg, calculated that he has done more than 100,000 pull-ups in the past 10 years, and has done about 10,000 in the past year.

He usually achieved gold for his Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT), with the occasional silver as he was weak in running, but he had aced pull-ups since he was 15.

The soft-spoken undergrad said he broke down immediately after his last pull-up, crying tears of relief.

He had his feat recognised by a Guinness World Records judge whom he invited here from India and who witnessed the attempt.

"It was one struggle after another, obstacle after obstacle," Mr Yeo told The New Paper yesterday.

"I had to cut off all interaction, including social media, I had to sacrifice relationships with the people around me and I've not watched a movie in half a year.

"It was the hardest period of my life."

He said he had to cut off most of his social interactions as he found them distracting and he needed to focus on his training and state of mind constantly.

He trained by himself for half a year from July at various gyms, but got stuck and sought help from Genesis Gym.

The gym owner, Mr Jonathan Wong, 35, took him in in December and developed a special programme with his team for Mr Yeo.

Said Mr Wong: "I was confident he could do it. He is outstanding.

"He's not here to play around. He came to us, told us he wanted to break the world record and we said okay, let's do it. You need his kind of personality and drive to break records."


They trained him by building up his strength, doing variations of pull-ups, including attaching weights to his waist.

Genesis Gym was also the location where Mr Yeo broke the world record.

He attempted to break the record in March, but failed due to technicalities.

He said: "The standard of pull-ups was really strict. Our standards here for the IPPT are considered lax.

"If I even clenched my abs or swayed my legs slightly, the pull-up wouldn't count. It was tougher than even the standard of US marines."

Mr Yeo said his greatest motivation came from his parents, for whom he wanted to break the record.

His mother, Mrs Mary Yeo, 59, a housewife, cooked his meals according to the required high protein diet for him every day.

She said: "I believed that he could do it.

"When he lost confidence after his training on some days, I just had to keep reminding him that he could do it if he set his mind to it."

Mr Yeo, who will be going back to school this semester to complete his degree, said he could not have broken the record without the help of Genesis Gym and his parents.

When asked what his greatest takeaway from the experience was, he said: "Everyone is able to achieve great things. Never give up, even if you encounter failure.

"Stick to your dreams and believe in yourself and you'll be able to do it."

Police bust gamblers at private club

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$7,000 fine for 14 parking offences too high, says guilty motorist

Judge also says numerous adjournments given to man guilty of 14 parking offences

GUILTY: Gabriel Ravi Janageran pleaded guilty to 14 offences under the Parking Places Act between 2011 and 2014, including 11 counts of parking in a place other than a parking lot.

A man who was found guilty of 14 parking offences is trying to appeal against his sentence of a $7,000 fine.

Gabriel Ravi Janageran pleaded guilty to 14 offences under the Parking Places Act between 2011 and 2014.

This includes 11 counts of parking in a place other than a parking lot, one count of parking in a season parking place, one count of obstructive parking and one count of parking with expired coupons.

Earlier this month, he was fined $7,000.

In mitigation, he said he has four children and is the sole breadwinner, working two jobs to sustain the family. He pleaded for leniency and a light fine.

Read the full report in our print edition on June 24.

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Worker sacked for washing shoes in sink

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Customers left high & dry after paying for holy water

More than 500 buyers who paid for holy water from Mecca believed to be affected after company got kicked out of premises

GONE: A Facebook image of the voucher that entitles holder to a 500ml bottle of Zam Zam water from Riyaadhul Huffadz, RH Services and Management.
GONE: The company's former office at Golden landmark on Victoria Street.

All she wanted was to collect the bottle of holy water from Mecca for her 61-year-old father.

But Miss Norhidah Ahmad Dan felt cheated when she arrived at the designated office on Victoria Street last Wednesday only to find an empty shop.

"When I found the shop at Golden Landmark, I saw a sign that said that the business was no longer operating from the premises," the 24-year-old lab assistant told The New Paper.

"I was very angry. It could have been my elderly father going to collect and he would have left empty-handed."

She said that someone selling charity tickets had approached her father, a 61-year-old retiree,"some months" ago at the Geylang Serai Market.

Her father had bought one ticket costing $10.

The ticket said he could exchange it for a 500ml bottle of Zam Zam water.

Zam Zam water is drawn from a well in Mecca. It has special religious significance for Muslims.

Some of the local distributors selling the water via Facebook list their price in the range of $85 to $95 per 10-litre bottle.

Miss Norhidah made several calls to the company, which is called Riyaadhul Huffadz, RH Services and Management, but got an engaged tone.

At least 500 other people are believed to have been affected.

On Saturday, the company finally explained in Malay on its Facebook page that it was having trouble importing large quantities of Zam Zam water.

The post said the company was still waiting for approval from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and the Health Science Authority of Singapore (HSA).

It also asked for those who had bought tickets to send a text message with their full name and address to a mobile number. It promised that the bottles would be delivered by Nov 1 or the money would be refunded.


A man who identified himself Mr Muhammad Maliki replied to queries TNP posted through Facebook.

He claimed that he was in Jakarta and had been there for the last eight months. He said he would return only in the middle of October.

He acknowledged the issues over the water and added that over 500 people had given him their names and addresses via text messages.

When asked why he had vacated his office in Golden Landmark, he replied that he was forced to move out by the owner of the shop space.

He claimed that he found out only recently that he was kicked out.

He added that the coupons had already been distributed when he was forced out of his shop.

When we informed Mr Maliki that AVA had not received any requests to import Zam Zam water in the last six months, he replied that he had applied "last year".

He reiterated that he would fulfil the orders for the water or refund the monies.

Miss Norhidah said: "I'm just disappointed that they had cut off all contact when it was time to collect. They should at least have stayed around to explain themselves."

Travellers beware: Delays on budget carriers more likely, says expert

Expert warns that budget carriers' operating model lends itself to unpredictability

Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft operated by Scoot at Changi Airport

Want to pay less for a flight? Then be prepared for delays, warned Associate Professor Terence Fan, a transport specialist from the Singapore Management University.

Referring to the operating model of budget airlines, Prof Fan told The New Paper: "Budget airlines typically aim to maximise their fleet utilisation, possibly leaving little spare equipment for live swaps.

"Likewise, they also tend to maximise their crew utilisation such that any delays of several hours could push the crew working hours beyond the pre-determined limit."

The practices of budget carriers have come into the spotlight after TZ8, a Singapore-Perth flight operated by low-cost airline Scoot, was delayed for more than 22 hours on Saturday.

Read the full report in our print edition on June 24.

Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at