Other cases of child abuse

UNCLE RAPED HER

A 14-year-old's life of sexual abuse came to light only after she tried to kill herself.

Her uncle first abused her when she was only 12. Two years later, he raped her.

The girl was so traumatised that she tried to kill herself by drinking bleach solution and soap powder.

On Oct 26, 2015, the 54-year-old food stall operator pleaded guilty to four counts of sexually assaulting, molesting and raping his niece.

FAMILY TORTURED HIM

Between 2009 and 2011, Zack (not his real name) endured a litany of abuse, including having hot oil splashed on his body, being hit by a belt and having his fingers snipped with a pair of scissors.

His abusers were his 46-year-old maternal grandaunt, her three daughters and her former husband.

Zack's plight came to light only after he was seen wandering alone at a bus stop in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9, near Thye Hua Kwan Community Hospital.

His abusers were all jailed.

FATHER KILLED HER

Natalie Nikie Alisyia Sallehan was only 23 months old when she was beaten to death by her father for playing with his cigarettes in 2010.

Sallehan Allaudin had slapped and punched her so hard that she died of a tear in a major vein, probably from a hard punch, kick or stomp. He was jailed for 10 years and given 10 strokes of the cane.


MUM'S BOYFRIEND KILLED HIM

In 2009, Sri Alyaniz Nazri died after 18 days of abuse by her mother's boyfriend, Mohd Azhar Ghapar. She was then two years and four months old.

He had punched her abdomen and pinched her arms, ear, chest and stomach. He also head-butted her and stepped on her abdomen, fracturing her ribs. Azhar was jailed for 12 years and given 12 strokes of the cane.


Child Protection Specialist Centres

HEART@Fei Yue

6819-9170

www.fycs.org/index.cfm?GPID=260

heartadmin@fycs.org

Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm

Big Love Child Protection Specialist Centre

6445-0400

www.biglove.org.sg

contact@biglove.org.sg

Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm

Child Protective Service Helpline (MSF)

1800-777-0000

MSF_cpsintake@msf.gov.sg

Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm

Saturday, 8.30am to 1pm

Tinkle Friend

1800-274-4788

Monday to Friday, 2.30pm to 5pm

Online chat operating hours: 
Monday to Friday, 2.30pm to 5.30pm 
and Wednesday, 6.30pm to 8.30pm

Why did no one help?

The abuse that killed two-year-old Mohamad Daniel Mohamad Nasser last year was the second case of child abuse in Block 19, Telok Blangah Crescent.

But is this more than just a chilling coincidence?

According to experts that The New Paper on Sunday spoke to, the “fine line” between abuse and disciplining children keeps neighbours from reporting them to the authorities.

About the case

Mohamad Daniel Mohamad Nasser, aged two, was abused for 25 days over a 35-day period .

During that time, Daniel was kicked and slapped nearly every day by his pregnant mother and her boyfriend.

Cleaners Zaidah, 41, and her boyfriend, Zaini Jamari, 46, made Daniel stand with his hands on his head while wearing only a nappy. They also forced him to eat spoonfuls of dried chilli.

He died on Nov 23, 2015.

Zaidah and Zaini were each convicted of three charges of child abuse and one count each of causing grievous hurt on June 23.

Zaidah admitted to 26 other charges of abusing Daniel and Zaini faces 18 other counts though they did not say why they committed the acts.

The pair will be sentenced on July 5.

Daniel was Zaidah's fourth of six children. His father was in prison when he was born. Zaidah has since lost contact with him.
 Her three older children, with the oldest at 20, no longer live with her.

Why didn't anyone protect Daniel from abuse?

One toddler was killed and another seriously injured by those who were meant to protect them at Block 19, Telok Blangah Crescent.

Daniel was two years old and a brave boy.

Even as he was slapped, stomped on, pinched and abused repeatedly by his own mother and her boyfriend, he did not cry.

And neighbours had little clue Mohamad Daniel Mohamad Nasser was being abused.

On Nov 23, 2015, Daniel's little body, peppered with marks and injuries he had sustained from a prolonged period of torture, gave up.

And even though he died, his caregiver, the woman he called Mak (mother in Malay) showed no remorse in court.

Cleaners Zaidah, 41, and her boyfriend, Zaini Jamari, 46, were found guilty after a trial and will be sentenced on July 5. 

One woman tried to help little Daniel and is now filled with regret.

Ms Puspawati Abdul Razat, 51, is wheelchair-bound after a stroke she suffered four years ago.

She regarded Daniel as her grandson, and he would call her "nenek" (grandmother in Malay).

Daniel and his family lived with her, cramped into a one-room rental flat on the sixth storey. Ms Puspawati's teenage niece also lived there.

Inside the flat where Daniel lived. TNP PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

She tells The New Paper on Sunday that she tried to help protect Daniel from the savagery he suffered, but she was afraid.

Her immobility also prevented her from calling for help sooner.

"I tried to help him countless times, but I couldn't get up or go to a private place to call the police."

"I even fell while trying to protect Daniel once," she says.

Ms Puspawati says she would plead for them to stop hitting him but her cries fell on deaf ears.

"I would tell them enough is enough, if they hit him any more he would die," she says.

Although her niece was hardly at home, Ms Puspawati says she, too, begged for the torture to stop and even volunteered to take him out to play.

They were told to mind their own business.

Daniel's mother and her boyfriend were always around, and Ms Puspawati had little opportunity to call for help during the 20 days of hell Daniel endured.

"Even when Daniel was unconscious, his mother was reluctant to call for help. I had to fight to call the ambulance," she says.

RECONNECTED

Ms Puspawati says she first met Daniel's mother 20 years ago through a friend.

They did not stay in touch but two years ago, she reconnected with Zaidah, who was working as a cleaner in an industrial building in Ubi Road.

According to Ms Puspawati, Zaidah was staying in a cramped storeroom that could barely fit her. There was nowhere to cook, and Zaidah lived there alone.

At that time, she was pregnant with Daniel. Ms Puspawati took pity on her and offered to let Zaidah stay with her in the flat she was sharing with another adult tenant.

Ms Puspawati says her flat is now too quiet.

"I look outside my window, and sometimes I see children running or I hear them playing downstairs.

"Daniel could have been one of them," she says.

SECRET

Block 19, Telok Blangah Crescent, hides a terrible secret.

Daniel is the second child to be repeatedly abused by his caregivers.

Three years earlier, almost to the date Daniel died, a four-year-old girl was punched and kicked over a one-month period because she had defecated on a mattress.

Festive lights hang outside the house where Daniel lived. TNP PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

After Fiona's (not her real name) accident on the bed, the mother's boyfriend, Mohammad Rudy Madon, then 37, grabbed some of the faeces and smeared it all over the little girl's face - causing her to even eat some of her own waste.

Although her mother intervened and took the girl to the bathroom, Mohammad Rudy did not stop.

Fuelled by his rage, he punched and stepped on the girl's right thigh several times, fracturing her bone.

Like Daniel, little Fiona hobbled around bravely at home for a month despite her injuries.

Mohammad Rudy pleaded guilty on Oct 1, 2013, to one count of ill-treating the girl, two counts of voluntarily causing grievous hurt to her and three drug-related charges.

He was jailed four years and given four strokes of the cane.

Mohammad Rudy will be out soon and given another chance.

Not little Daniel. Not Fiona.

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Scrat's the man

The prehistoric squirrell's incessant quest for the acorn is the key to Ice Age's success

The prehistoric gang are back for another adventure — their fifth! — in Ice Age: Collision Course.

The successful franchise may be led by Manny the mammoth (Ray Romano), Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo), and Diego the sabre-toothed tiger (Denis Leary), but there is no debate that the twitchy, acorn-loving rodent Scrat (Chris Wedge), is a fan favourite. The series' mascot has also helped the series rake in over US$2.8 billion (S$3.8 billion) in global box-office receipts.

The squirrel-rat with the fangy overbite has also been there for every major moment in the history of the natural world. He ushered in the Ice Age, started the Meltdown, unleashed the Lost World of the Dinosaurs into the Ice Age, started the separation of the continents — and now, he’s triggered a series of cosmic disasters that threaten the Ice Age world.

With the Ice Age world in danger, Sid, Manny, Diego and the rest of the herd must leave their home and embark on a quest full of comedy and adventure, as they travel to exotic new lands and encounter a host of colourful new characters.

Before we go back to the Ice Age, let us revisit some of Scrat's best moments.


Ice Age (2002)

Just when you think the movie is over, we see Scrat, 20,000 years later, encased in ice along with his beloved acorn. However, the acorn is washed away by the incoming tide before Scrat can totally be defrosted. Though Scrat manages to find a new "nut" — the coconut  — his joy is short-lived though.


Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)

Everybody loves kung fu fighting — even Scrat. The resilient rodent is not going to give up his acorn, not even when he is attacked by a school of piranhas.


Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs (2009)

Scrat's never-ending chase of the accursed acorn is momentarily halted when he meets the beguiling Scratte. Alas, true love is not meant to be, as the pair soon bicker and fight over their object of desire... yes, the acorn.

 

 


Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)

Who would have thought that Scrat is the reason behind the continental drift? Also, in his pursuit of the elusive acorn, Scrat chances upon a map that may lead him to Scratlantis, a treasure trove of acorns! But first, he needs to fend off a band of not-so-merry pirates.

 

 


Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe (2015)

This spin-off serves as a prologue to Ice Age: Collision Course, where Scrat's cosmic antics sees him playing pinball with the planets, and later causing the mother of all asteroids to hurtle toward Earth.

 

 

All new Dirt Radicals hit Baybeats

Last year, The Dirt Radicals chose to celebrate their 10th anniversary here in Singapore, because for the formerly Singapore-based multi-national band, this was home.

They put on a free one-hour show at Hood Bar and Cafe at Bugis Junction on Oct 17 - the last gig the pop-punk group played with the original members.

They officially ended their run as a trio with their EP Duder, released last November.

The Dirt Radicals, which comprised Australian bassist-vocalist Sam Cooper, his brother and drummer Matt and Japanese guitarist Masashi Kimura, met in high school in Singapore.

In 2005, the band, known then as Pug Jelly, were nominated for the Favourite Singapore Artiste award at the MTV Asia Awards while touring with big-name acts such as Avril Lavigne, Sum 41 , Simple Plan and Fall Out Boy.

BACK IN THE DAY: Pug Jelly circa 2005 (clockwise from right) Masashi Kimura, Sam Cooper, and Matt Cooper.

They later disbanded, but got back together to release an album as The Dirt Radicals in 2010 .

Cooper, 31, told The New Paper: "Last year, after playing for years together, we decided that since everyone was in different countries and I'm the main songwriter and singer, it's better if I could just continue on.

"We were constantly trying to do stuff and it was just too difficult - someone would be getting married or someone would be moving (to another) country but I was always the one that was available."

Cooper has been based in Italy for three years, while Matt moved back to Australia where he works as a recruiter and Kimura is married and living in Japan.

 Dirt Radicals Version 1 PHOTO: DIANA FONG

"We basically all sat down and I was like, 'Guys, can I just have the band?' and they said 'Totally, we love you, we love your songs and we want you to do well'."

So fast forward nine months, and The Dirt Radicals are back with a new line-up - they're now a foursome - and ready to rock out at this year's Baybeats Festival.

The band's latest additions are Italians Ale Mari (guitar and vocals) and Nico Ugolini (drums) as well as Englishman Sean Buttigieg (lead guitar).

Said Cooper, who has been playing with the trio since January: "Everything feels good and fresh and new. For us it's not just playing a show, it's about getting the crowd involved in what we're doing. All the new members are great at getting the crowd going."

Their new single, Missed Connection, is about someone finding love in the era of dating app Tinder - which is incidentally how he met his Italian girlfriend of six months.

The title is derived from the Missed Connections section of classified advertisements website Craigslist.

And fans will be able to hear this new song at Baybeats.

Cooper said: "What people in Singapore have really liked about our music is upbeat pop-punk fun stuff, so our Baybeats show will be getting in touch with that."

FYI

WHAT: Baybeats Festival 2016

WHERE: Powerhouse Stage (Esplanade Waterfront Carpark)

WHEN: June 26, 9.50pm

TICKETS: Admission is free

Malaysian designers open to exclusive Singapore collections

Malaysian designer Lynda Rahim (centre) with models in her LYNDARAHIM Hari Raya line.

Kree is among a growing group of Malaysian fashion labels that are recognising a rise in demand from its Singaporean consumers.

This Hari Raya, its co-founders Reni Diana Sulaiman and Norhalida Sahar, designed a special capsule collection just for Singapore.

The collection, priced between $200 and $250, launched at En Pointe last Saturday.

Mr Qayyum Iskandar who handles public relations for the label, told The New Paper in a telephone interview: "There is greater competition among fellow Malaysian designers who want to capture this growing Singaporean market. The customers are spoilt for choice because there are so many options.

"The consumers can only stand to gain because when there is this much competition, designers have to be more creative and push the envelope to come up with something that is even better. It's really exciting for us, too, because even the smaller designers are getting recognition for their good ideas."

Heartened by the reception Kree received at the launch, the 25-year-old also pointed out that its Singaporean customers are bolder compared to their Malaysian counterparts.

He said: "They like things that are fashion-forward, edgy and bold but not over the top, which is what our designs offer."

Others, like the designers behind fellow Malaysian labels Fiziwoo and LYNDARAHIM, said that they are open to the idea of exploring exclusive Hari Raya collections for Singaporeans in the future.

Izree Kai Haffiz, who runs Fiziwoo with founder Mohd Hafizi Radzi Woo, said: "If we have lots of people requesting for it, that is something we will consider in the future. But, at the same time, there is also a challenge because we also have to bear in mind our Malaysian customers who might still want access to these designs."

On the growing demand from Singapore, the 29-year-old said: "People, especially the younger generation are more savvy about designer pieces, thanks to social media. They want to look good and they know they just have to fork out a bit more for quality material."

Fiziwoo's festive collection Woo/Fiziwoo for Zalora also launched at En Pointe last Saturday.

As for designer Lynda Rahim, whose Hari Raya collection is stocked exclusively at En Pointe in Singapore, it all boils down to Singaporean customers yearning to look their best.

"You have to look good to feel good. Our fashion options offered are different and this gives Singaporeans more choices," said the 39-year-old.

More Singaporeans buying Malaysian designer wear this Hari Raya

Shoppers browsing through the Hari Raya collections at local multi-label boutique En Pointe at its first Hari Raya showcase on June 11.

A time-tested Ramadan tradition for many Singaporeans would be flocking to the bustling Geylang bazaar, Tanjong Katong Complex or Joo Chiat Complex to sift through racks of brightly-coloured, heavily-beaded or fancily-embroidered clothes in search of that perfect Hari Raya outfit.

From baju kurung modern and long dresses to kaftans and baju kebaya, there is something for everyone, no matter the budget.

But in recent years, some consumers are giving the longstanding meccas of mass-produced festive attire a miss, opting instead for e-commerce sites or smaller brick-and-mortar stores.

This group of shoppers, mostly millennials, often value exclusivity while not burning a big hole in their pockets.

Multi-label boutique En Pointe began operations in February this year at its 1,200 sq ft shophouse space at North Bridge Road to specifically target this market.

TNP PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Co-founders of local multi-label boutique En Pointe, Ms Natasha Sulaiman (left) and Ms Dahlia Mohd.

Co-founded by two Singaporeans and good friends Ms Dahlia Mohd and Ms Natasha Sulaiman, the four-month old boutique stocks a curated assortment of ready-to-wear pieces from popular Malaysian labels like Mimpikita, Fiziwoo, Innai Red, Pikat KL and more.

"People are becoming more discerning this year. They want something new that's a bang for their buck so that's where mid-range designer brands like Anaabu hit that sweet spot," Ms Dahlia, 34, told The New Paper at the boutique's first Hari Raya showcase on June 11.

The duo launched their first pop-up store during the last Ramadan in May last year at Baghdad Street and received a heartening response.

"There was a growing exposure among Singaporeans to Malaysian brands and correspondingly, growing demand. However, it is a hassle to travel to Kuala Lumpur to make the purchase. While you can buy from online retailers, our customers' feedback was that they preferred to touch and feel the material or try the clothes on before purchasing them. We saw that gap in the market and knew we could fill it," Ms Natasha, 31, said.

Ms Dahlia said social media exposes consumers to the creations of established and budding Malaysian designers.

Ms Dahlia said: "People are diverting away from the mass market where styles don't change. Customers want something more unique and don't mind paying extra for good quality."

En Pointe also accepts custom orders and offers luxe collections at a steeper price.

Typically, the cost of an outfit varies to cater to all budgets, ranging from $130 for a Bellapizo piece to $1,250 for one from Innai Red.

"We see customers spending more and more. Previously, some would balk at spending more than $300 per set but now there is an increasing number who are more than happy to part with $400 or $500," said Ms Natasha. They also see shoppers from Brunei and neighbouring Malaysian states.

Other customers prefer taking their Hari Raya shopping online, where a multitude of brands and designs are easily available to them with a single click.

E-commerce fashion sites like Zalora and FashionValet both note an increase in customers shopping for modestwear on their sites in recent years but declined to reveal figures.

Besides offering a wide range of popular Malaysian designer brands on their sites, both Zalora and FashionValet also do tie-ups with these labels and offer exclusive Hari Raya collections to woo their customers.This year, Zalora, which was founded in 2012, collaborated with well-known Malaysian designer labels Rizalman, Fiziwoo and Bella Ammara to create special capsule collections for the one-stop shopping portal. FashionValet teamed up with Poplook for its Poplook Premium for FashionValet Raya collection.

Zalora is also known for its own in-house label Zalia which it started in 2014 after a surge in demand for modern Muslimwear.

Zalora's chief marketing officer Tito Costa told TNP that Zalia is among its best-selling brands due to its "assortment of styles and affordable price points".

This year, Zalora opened pre-orders for Zalia's festive collection ahead of Ramadan in anticipation of a surge.

Mr Costa said: "Responses for the festive collections, including Zalia, have been encouraging, with many styles quickly snapped up during the pre-order phase."

A key trademark of Zalia pieces is versatility, a trait that that ranks high among customers in the search for the perfect Raya outfit.

FashionValet country manager Muhammad Zameer Ali, 33, said: "This year, designers are steering towards modern design, aiming for versatile pieces that can be paired with clothing options on normal occasions as well. This is the trend of today and makes for great value. Usually, you purchase an outfit for Raya and have to chuck it aside."

TNP PHOTO: NOOR ASHIKIN ABDUL RAHMAN
FashionValet's country manager Muhammad Zameer Ali said that its first store here at 313@Somerset sees about 100 customers each day. 

Malaysian-based FashionValet, started in 2010 by husband-wife pair Vivy Yusof and Fadzarudin Anuar, opened its first store in Singapore in May at 313@Somerset in time for the pre-Raya shopping craze.

Mr Muhammad Zameer its customers shell out anything between $80 and $250 at their store.

With even more options now available to consumers this Raya, shoppers can only stand to gain.

For Miss Sufi Nadhirah Shamsuri, 21, it only means more choices that enables her to express her individuality.

"My mum used to pick our my Hari Raya clothes for me. But I now have my own identity and my own sense of style. I like to do research on what I like, often following Malaysian celebrities and social media icons on Instagram to seek inspiration," said the recent graduate from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

"I like that now I can find some of the designs in Singapore and that the pieces are versatile enough for me to use even after Hari Raya."

Hot trends this Hari Raya

What's hot and what's not this festive season?

We show you the trendiest threads for Hari Raya this year, according to experts.

TREND #1: PASTELS

PHOTO: AZMIN JAILANI

Pastel hues, as seen in Malaysian designer Lynda Rahim's Hari Raya collection (in Strawberry Juice, Hot Green Tea, Ice Soda and Carrot Kick), lend the perfect soft touch.

TREND #2: BLACK AND WHITE

 
PHOTO: KREE, WOO/FIZIWOO

​If colours aren't your thing, go monochromatic in pieces like Kree's limited edition organza kimono wrap (top) or Woo/Fiziwoo for Zalora's Kurung Lapis. 

TREND #3: STRUCTURED, BOXY CUTS

PHOTO: BELLAPIZO
 

Prefer something edgier? Go for structured outfits like Bellapizo's Aurora (top) or Neirea.

TREND #4: MERMAID SILHOUETTE

PHOTO: ZALORA

Opt for mermaid cuts like this Zalia Embellished Mermaid Dress With Trim to show off your figure.

TREND #5: SEQUINS

 

PHOTO: ZALORA

Bling is still in, so shine away in pieces like this Zalia Sequin Mermaid Dress.

 

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