Charges they face

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Debt collectors demand $12,000 extra for 'salary'

DAMAGED: Items in Mr Sherman Chang's stall, such as bowls and utensils, were allegedly thrown on the floor by debt collectors from Double Ace Associates.

He owed $21,000, but was asked to pay $33,000.

The reason for the extra $12,000?

"The debt collectors said it's their 'salary'," said Mr Sherman Chang, 53, the owner of a Chinese soup stall at a foodcourt in Funan DigitaLife Mall.

"When I asked why I have to pay the extra when I wasn't the one who employed them, they wouldn't explain. But said they would keep coming after me if I refused."

It was previously reported that debt collectors from Double Ace Associates caused a ruckus at the mall's foodcourt during lunchtime on Jan 15, demanding payment.

Mr Chang said that the "collection fee" of $12,000 was later reduced to $7,000 after some negotiation.

He agreed to pay the sum and signed the settlement with the debt collecting agency as he felt his "workers' safety is on the line".

Other debt collectors TNP spoke to said this "collection fee" was not the standard practice and that it was unacceptable.

Read the full report in our print edition on Feb 5.

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

S’pore’s first 3D car put together like Lego

The first car in Singapore made with 3D-printed parts was unveiled by Nanyang Technological University to take part in eco-race.

NTU Venture (NV) 8.
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Indonesian minister says second-hand clothes could spread HIV

Two activists showing red ribbons, the symbol of HIV/Aids awareness, during a campaign in Surabaya, Indonesia, in December last year
Two activists showing red ribbons, the symbol of HIV/Aids awareness, during a campaign in Surabaya, Indonesia, in December last year

Indonesia’s trade minister sparked anger on Wednesday (Feb 4) after saying that second-hand clothes could spread human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

He came up with this statement as as he campaigned to stop the import of used garments.

Mr Rachmat Gobel was quoted in local media as saying that used clothes could cause “skin diseases, HIV. It is true, we have seen a lab result”. 

Indonesian officials have expressed alarm at what they say is a flood of cheap, second-hand clothing flooding the country.

They say it is damaging the local textile industry. 


Mr Gobel quickly apologised after his comments were widely reported, posting on Twitter he had meant to say that “wearing used clothes can transmit many kinds of diseases”.

But this did little to calm the public’s anger, with Twitter user Siwiestu saying that it was “such a shame that a highly educated man... still misunderstands HIV”.

“Oh dear, did the minister go to school?” commented Siti Umayah, adding: “His statement is embarrassing”.

Mr Gobel, a wealthy businessman, has been trade minister since October in the new government of President Joko Widodo. 

Source: AFP

Schoolgirl, 13, buying snacks dies in grocery shop fire

Passers-by keep a safe distance from the blaze.  (inset) Wan Putri Nur Aisyah Abdullah.
Passers-by keep a safe distance from the intense blaze. (Inset) Wan Putri Nur Aisyah Abdullah.

The 13-year-old schoolgirl wanted to buy some snacks at a grocery store in Pendang, Alor Setar.

While she was choosing the snacks, the building caught fire. 

Wan Putri Nur Aisyah Abdullah could not get out of the shop in time and was burnt to death, The Star reported.

Shop owner Che Fauzial Doya said she was attending to the girl when she suddenly spotted flames on the ceiling outside her shop.

The 47-year-old told The Star: “I rushed out quickly to try to douse the fire as it was spreading towards where I stored my cooking gas cylinders.

“But the blaze spread quickly due to the strong wind.”


While she was busy putting out the fire, a food stall owner nearby told her that someone was screaming inside her shop.

That is when she realised that the girl was inside.

Mr Wan Mohamad Firdus Abdul Wahab, 24, a friend of the girl’s father who was waiting for her outside the shop, said he tried to rush in to save her but was driven back by the intense flames.

He said: “I could hear her screams, which lasted only about five seconds.

“I tried, but could not do anything. I also heard several explosions as I ran out of the burning building.”

Fire and Rescue officials found her body at the back of the shop.

She could have run to the back of the shop to try and escape but she became trapped, the operation commander was quoted as saying.

Source: The Star

M’sian mum in a coma delivers healthy baby

File picture of a baby

Doctors at an hospital in Kuala Terengganu managed to operate and deliver a healthy baby girl while her 33-year-old mother is still in a coma.

Malay language Harian Metro reported that doctors performed a caesarian operation on the housewife last month.

Ms Nor Laila Razak fell into a coma October last year due to encephalitis when she was five months’ pregnant and was placed under close supervision at the intensive care unit.

Her husband, Rusili Usof, 35, said he was ecstatic with the arrival of his daughter Noor Shafikah.

He praised the doctors for saving her life despite his wife’s condition, The Star said quoting Harian Metro.

He said: “She (the baby) is a bit underweight, but is healthy. But I am sad for my wife who is still in a coma.”

Mr Rusili, a fisherman, said his mother will care for the newborn.

He also said he will continue to travel about 90km by motorcycle every day to visit his wife at the hospital.

Source: The Star, Harian Metro


Ex-Olympian Bruce Jenner undergoing gender transition

Former Olympic medalist and TV personality Bruce Jenner is undergoing a gender transition into a woman.  

Speculation has been rife for months about the changes to Jenner's physical appearance.

Now, a source close to the family has confirmed that the rumours are indeed true. 

"(Jenner) is finally happy and his family is accepting of what he's doing," said the source, according to People. 

"He's in such a great space. That's why it's the perfect time to do something like this. 

The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star married Kris Kardashian in 1991 but split in 2013.  

Together, the couple had two daughters - Kylie and Kendall. 



When questioned in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, step-daughter Kim Kardashian said: "We support Bruce no matter what.

"I will say I think Bruce should tell his story his way... everyone goes through things in life... I think he'll share whenever the time is right."

She also believes that Jenner is at his "happiest".

Jenner is set to air his gender transformation journey as a docu-series on E! later this year.

Source: The San Fransisco Globe, PEOPLE


Teens who use cellphones often at night are prone to depression, scientists say

When it's time to sleep, it's time to sleep. 

According to research by the University of Basel in Switzerland, teens with smartphones tend to spend more time online especially at night, leaving themselves at risk of depression. 

The study, which was conducted on 300 students, analysed digital media consumption between teens with smartphones and teens with conventional phones.   

Results showed that only 17 per cent of smartphone users switched off their phones or left it on silent at night compared with 47 per cent of teens who owned conventional phones. 

Additionally, teens with smartphones spend an average of two hours on the Internet on weekdays - an hour more than those who own conventional smartphones.

Smartphone users also sent a whopping 85 messages a day on average. 

"Due to wireless Internet connections and cheap flat rates, teenagers with smartphones spend more time online and communicate with their peers for less money - for example via WhatsApp - which has changed their digital media use pattern profoundly," the research noted.  

Risk factor

Scientists claimed that the increased use of digital media at night have put teens at risk of poor sleep and depression.

"Sleep disturbance is an important risk factor for the development of depression during adolescence," said researchers.

"Excessive electronic media use at night is a risk factor for both adolescents’ sleep disturbance and depression."

The findings have been published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Source: Mirror Online, Times of India

S'pore DJ calls dead mum's phone as she misses her

Missing her: DJ Rosalyn Lee wrote on Instagram that she lost her mum to cancer 11 years ago on Feb 4, which is World Cancer Day.

Feb 4 is World Cancer Day.

To increase awareness for the fight against this deadly disease, 625 worldwide events are taking place, according to the World Cancer Day website.

On the local front, DJ Rosalyn Lee's touching Instagram post has prompted many of her followers to reminisce about the loved ones they have lost to cancer.

Let's take a moment today to remember as well.




4th Feb - its World Cancer Day today. its also my mom's 11th death anniversary. its a funny coincidence, isnt it, that cancer took her life on world cancer day? here with my #innercircle and paying respects to mom. i always feel silly doing this cuz i dont believe in life after death. i believe that once you die, everything just fades to black and thats it. finito. so i dont believe that shes "up there" somewhere looking down on me and guiding me through life. but i love coming here cuz i get to spend more time with my brother @lahyen and the people i love @officialstar @justinvanderstraaten and @chewsoowei, which is always nice. that said, i do miss mom. not just today, but every single day. i miss hearing her voice, of which i have no record of. i miss seeing her move and i miss her smile. she was sad for a very long time cuz she had a pretty rough life, and her smiles though rare, were the most beautiful flashes of pearly whites ive ever seen. not recording videos of her was my biggest regret. but we didnt have smartphones back then, and we couldnt afford a handycam. sibeh sian. maybe this is why i take so many photos and videos and shit cuz lesson learnt. if you're on the verge of losing someone you love today, or have lost someone you love, my thoughts and heart's with you. the pangs of pain and the feeling of loss never goes away, but i promise that you'll still be strong enough to go about living life to the fullest. ima share with you this quote by William Penn that soothes me whenever the feeling of loss gets a lil rough: "they that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. death cannot kill what never dies."

A photo posted by ROSALYN LEE (@heyrozz) on



On her post, Lee shared how she grieved for her mum: "I called her mobile number on a few occasions over a few years after her death, just to hear the ringtone, and imagined the possibility of her answering. And I would hang up after a few rings so that I can continue imagining that.

"Dunno who took over her number, dunno why it kept ringing.. and despite missed calls, no one ever called back. haha pyscho right? ive since stopped doing it."


Remembrance: Rosalyn Lee (right) with her mother Lee Kim Geok. 


Fifty Shades of Yellow featuring SpongeBob

Here's a teaser you may or may not be happy to see. 

The SpongeBob Movie twitter account decided to spice things up by releasing a very creative poster

And it has little to do with their movie, well, not really anyway. 

With the Sponge Bob movie and Fifty Shades of Grey coming out soon and within a week of each other, they decided to combine both movies into one poster. Here's the original poster and the edited one. 

Photo: Focus Features



Not something you can unsee. Hopefully the Sponge Bob movie isn't anything like Fifty Shades of Grey! 

Sources: Twitter, Buzzfeed