Teens taken to scene of fire

Two youths taken by police to Lengkok Bahru flat that they allegedly set fire to

RESTRAINED: Sea Jia Sheng, 16, and Chong Sheng Wei (above), 18, were escorted by plain-clothes police officers to where they had allegedly set fire to a Lengkok Bahru flat.
RESTRAINED: Sea Jia Sheng (above), 16, and Chong Sheng Wei, 18, were escorted by plain-clothes police officers to where they had allegedly set fire to a Lengkok Bahru flat.

Yesterday, two youths, arrested for allegedly setting fire to a flat for loan sharks, were taken to the crime scene by the police.

Sea Jia Sheng, 16, and Chong Sheng Wei, 18, are accused of starting a fire at the main door of a two-room rental unit at Block 59, Lengkok Bahru, in Redhill, at 2am on May 1.

Both suspects were arrested at their homes.

A couple and their 14-month-old son were sleeping in the flat when the fire started.

Sea and Chang were charged in court last Friday under the Moneylenders Act 2010.

Yesterday, they arrived in a grey van and were taken to the unit on the 10th storey.

Both wore red polo shirts, blue bermudas and slippers.

They were also restrained at the wrists and ankles and flanked by two plain-clothes officers.

They stood outside the unit for not more than five minutes and were seen gesturing towards the charred floor in front of the flat.

Both suspects are believed to be involved in two other harassment-by-fire cases at Hougang Street 51 and Sembawang Drive on May 1 and May 2 respectively.

The Lengkok Bahru occupants had been living there for only two weeks when the incident happened. Their 14-month-old child was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.

The boy's father, who wanted to be known only as Mr Tan, 50, said he had not borrowed money from loan sharks.

Mr Tan, a salesman, said the town council had helped to paint the areas affected by the fire and smoke, but the charred floor and tiles outside his unit had not been cleaned up yet.

If convicted of acting on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender, committing or attempting to commit any acts of harassment, the duo can be jailed up to five years and fined a maximum $50,000.

They can also receive up to six strokes of the cane.

M'sia cops arrested for taking $70 bribe

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Tycoon hangout to shut

MOVING: Owner of the coffee shop, Mr Tan Jeng Seow (in red), serving his customers.
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Eight of Johor Ruler's antique fire engines, part of M'sia's biggest private collection, to be displayed for Hari Bomba

PRIZED COLLECTION: Johor's Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar posing with some of his vintage fire engines. Eight from his collection will be on display today.
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Music is a family affair

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQRTF_4a-w8
IN TUNE: Fathin Amira Zubir (fourth from left) is part of traditional music ensemble Orkes Budi, which was started by her parents Masayu Johari (far left) and Zubir Abdullah (second from left), and includes two other musician friends.

She might be a Singaporean Malay but she can effortlessly belt popular Filipino hits in Tagalog as thought she is a native speaker.

Local singer Fathin Amira Zubir’s unique talent has won over legions of Filipino fans all around the world, thanks to her recent stint in Filipino reality singing competition I Love OPM where she emerged one of the eight semi-finalists.

She could not help but feel disappointed that she failed to make it to the finals but she hopes to use that experience as her launchpad into Philippines’ music industry.

The 24-year-old former contestant on reality competitions Singapore Idol 3 (2009), The Final 1 (2013) SG Mania (2014) and Asia’s Got Talent (2015) did not let health problems stop her from achieving her dreams.

At the age of 16, doctors found that Fathin has only one kidney and two uteruses and had undergone two previous surgeries to remove cysts on her uterus.

She removed a uterus in an operation late last year. She was also born with a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot.

Get the full story in our print edition (May 9).

Subscribe to The New Paper in print and digital at www.tinyurl.com/getTNP

She had 2 uteruses

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQRTF_4a-w8

She might be a Singaporean Malay but she can effortlessly belt popular Filipino hits in Tagalog as thought she is a native speaker.

Local singer Fathin Amira Zubir’s unique talent has won over legions of Filipino fans all around the world, thanks to her recent stint in Filipino reality singing competition I Love OPM where she emerged one of the eight semi-finalists.

She could not help but feel disappointed that she failed to make it to the finals but she hopes to use that experience as her launchpad into Philippines’ music industry.

The 24-year-old former contestant on reality competitions Singapore Idol 3 (2009), The Final 1 (2013) SG Mania (2014) and Asia’s Got Talent (2015) did not let health problems stop her from achieving her dreams.

At the age of 16, doctors found that Fathin has only one kidney and two uteruses and had undergone two previous surgeries to remove cysts on her uterus.

She removed a uterus in an operation late last year.

She was also born with a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot.

Get the full story in our print edition (May 9).

Subscribe to The New Paper in print and digital at www.tinyurl.com/getTNP.

Making it big in the Philippines

S'porean Fathin Amira Zubir reaches semi-finals in Filipino TV singing contest

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQRTF_4a-w8

She is a Malay Singaporean but she can effortlessly belt out Filipino hits like a native speaker of Tagalog.

Fathin Amira Zubir's talent has won over legions of Filipino fans from around the world, thanks to her recent stint on the reality singing competition I Love OPM, where she was in the semifinals as one of the top eight contestants.

It was the inaugural season of the TV show, which has foreigners from countries such as Nigeria, Russia, Korea and the US competing in singing original Pinoy music (OPM).

Korean Yohan Hwang was eventually crowned the winner - based on voting by judges and the public - in the final which aired on the Philippines' biggest TV network ABS-CBN on April 23.

Fathin, a serial reality TV contestant who took part in Singapore Idol 3 (2009), The Final 1 (2013), SG Mania (2014) and Asia's Got Talent (2015), was competing overseas for the first time.

Judge and TV host-singer Toni Gonzaga-Soriano praised her in the March 6 episode, saying she "shook" them to their "core" with her rendition of love song Paano (What Now).

Fathin was told that if the judges closed their eyes, they would not have been able to tell that she was not a native Tagalog speaker.

Which is why she could not help but feel disappointed that she failed to make it to the finals.

But she hopes to use the I Love OPM experience as a launchpad into the Pinoy music industry.

The 24-year-old told The New Paper: "It has always been my dream to sing in the Philippines. Of course I expected to go to the next round, I thought that I could do it... I wanted to win so badly. But thanks to this competition, I learnt a lot about the industry."

Fathin, the eldest of traditional Malay music composer Zubir Abdullah's three children, said she is working on her own OPM song called Unang Pag-ibig, working closely with Filipino music arranger Noel Espenida.

Her song was translated from one of her dad's songs, Cinta Pertama.

She said: "I hope to fly to the Philippines again and make new connections. It is my ultimate dream to be a recording artist there."

Fathin was approached to join I Love OPM when ABS-CBN left a comment on a video of her cover of Filipino song Ikaw Lamang.

She is no stranger to singing in Tagalog, having started during her Singapore Idol 3 days, when contestants were required to perform songs in Asian languages apart from English during the Asian Week episode.

Back then, she sang the ballad Bakit Pa (Why Bother). She then started doing covers of Filipino songs such as Bumabalik Ang Nagdaan and Lumayo Ka Man Sa Akin on YouTube after her stint on Asia's Got Talent.

MORE FANS

That was when her Filipino fan base grew, expanding even more after she joined I Love OPM. Now Fathin has more than 21,900 followers on her official Facebook page, including Filipino fans from as far as the US and the Middle East.

They have praised her for her "amazing voice and talent", some even saying she was deserving of I Love OPM's top spot.

For Fathin, singing in Tagalog comes easily because it is phonetically similar to Malay.

"Even the melody of the songs reminds me of Malay songs. The two languages are very alike in many ways," she said.

She's slowly learning to speak the language as well. She knows some words and short phrases, can understand when she is spoken toand hopes to master it in the future.

She seeks career inspiration from Malaysian singer Shila Amzah, who has successfully penetrated the Chinese market after winning the 2012 Chinese reality singing talent show Asian Wave.

"I always tell myself, if she can do it, why can't I? She has her fair share of struggles and sacrifices but I'm happy to see a Muslim pursuing music and making a mark outside of her home country."

Poisoned undies rot man's genitals

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Contraband cigarettes seized by ICA

More than 3,340 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on May 6 at the Woodlands Checkpoint.

They were concealed in the modified compartment on the roof of the lorry.

It was driven by a 39-year-old Malaysian man.

Read the report in The New Paper on Tuesday (May 10)

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