J-pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu in town for concert

J-pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, 23, has no intention of altering her cute image

COLOURFUL: Japanese pop singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is known for her Harajuku style.

It has been five years since Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (KPP) first popped up in the music scene with her candy-coloured, eyeball-grabbing Harajuku style.

But although most artists feel an itch to switch things up a few years into their careers to avoid being stagnant, the 23-year-old Japanese pop princess has no intention of altering her image for now.

If anything, KPP has only grown more passionate about the youthful style and cutesy personality she is famous for.

“I like it even more than five years ago,” KPP told The New Paper through a translator last night.

She was performing at the Esplanade Theatre for the first stop of her fifth anniversary 5ive Years Monster World Tour 2016 tour.

But she admitted she had not always been enamoured with Harajuku fashion.

“When I was a high school student, I wasn’t interested. But when I went to the Harajuku district (in Tokyo), I found the fashion to be very kawaii (Japanese for cute),” she said in Japanese.

 

ORIGINALITY

She tried on the clothing and fell in love with it. After five years, she still adores Harajuku fashion for its originality.

"I like that I can go to different places in Japan and find second-hand clothes that are very unique," she said.

The singer is not sure if she will still maintain the same image 10 years from now as she does not have any specific plans for the future.

She would like to continue making music, but she is also open to pursuing interests in different fields and she is equally open to settling down.

She said: "I don't have very strong feelings about marriage or kids. If it happens, it's possible."

One thing KPP is sure of is what she is looking for in her dream guy.

She said: "I want a supportive relationship and for us to have a positive influence on each other in fashion, lifestyle or singing."

I don't have very strong feelings about marriage or kids. If it happens, it's possible.

- Japanese pop singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

COLOURFUL: Japanese pop singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is known for her Harajuku style. PHOTO: JEREMY LONG

Tags: Japan, pop icon and music

Close friends who like to tease each other

Last year, they starred as a lovey-dovey couple in the popular Taiwanese soap opera Dowry and since then, the friendship between Chen Meifeng and Li Nanxing has blossomed.

And thanks to Li's connections with her, she even guest-starred in local drama The Dream Makers 2 as Romeo Tan's mum. Li was the male lead of the show.

At local wellness chain Mary Chia's media event yesterday, the duo displayed a flirtatious chemistry, bantering on stage and teasing each other.

Li was effervescent in his praise of Chen's beauty and agelessness, telling reporters that she is his "idol" and that the sight of her makes his heart "thump and go pong, pong, pong".

During the interview, TNP asked Li if he had ever considered baring his chest a la Hong Kong's Aaron Kwok for photos?

Li laughed and said: "I am not ready to be sexy, I am still quite self-conscious."

Chen teased as she shot Li a glance: "With the right lighting and shadows, I think you can do it. I'm imagining you half-naked now, you know."

FLIRTATIOUS CHEMISTRY: Chen and local actor Li Nanxing starred as a couple in the 2015 Taiwanese soap opera Dowry.

Sexy at 60? Sure! Chen Meifeng wants to be a 'beautiful obasan'

Who says obasans* must look dowdy and ugly, says Taiwanese 
actress-host 
Chen Meifeng, 59

Taiwan, television, actress, CHEN MEIFENG,

Can women still be sexy at 60?

Of course, said 59-year-old Taiwanese actress-host Chen Meifeng, who is often dubbed "Taiwan's Most Beautiful Obasan (Japanese for auntie)" by Taiwanese media.

Chen, best known for her leading roles in Hokkien soap operas Love and Night Market Life, was speaking from personal experience.

In 2014, she made jaws drop when she uploaded a photo of herself on her Facebook page wearing a hot pink bikini that showed her D-cup chest and firm abs.

Chen's figure had netizens raving, with some remarking that she "puts young girls to shame".

In town yesterday  at the invite of the Mary Chia group to launch the Limited Edition MU V.TIVATE Mist Spray which was designed exclusively for her, Chen told The New Paper in Mandarin: "In the past, people had preconceived notions of how a 60-year-old should dress. But that is not the case any more.

"Who says obasans must look dowdy and ugly? We can choose to be beautiful obasans. Nobody can defy the ageing process, but we can grow beautiful as we age.

"I think I sent a good message to all mature women out there. Your mums who are around my age should be able to don swimwear and be happy and comfortable in them."

NO TOUCH-UP

Chen, a divorcee with no children, is not without her insecurities and reservations though.

"The bikini was a present from a friend which I didn't dare to wear at swimming pools," she recalled. "So the next best thing would be to just take a picture in my bathroom."

She claimed the image was "natural, with no Photoshopping done and no filters added".

"I didn't work out or go on a diet beforehand," she said. "In fact, I was initially hesitant about posting the picture online, as I felt a bit fat wearing the bikini. But if I didn't do it (then), who knows? I might pile on the pounds and not be able to fit into it later."

Chen, who is 1.67m and weighs 55kg,maintains her svelte figure through regular strolls after meals, massages, hot showers, mental relaxation and beauty sleep.

She is game to show everyone another bikini shot in the future, "so long as it is a posed photo". "If you ask me to saunter down the streets in a miniskirt now, no way," she said.

Mary Chia's local brand ambassadors, actor Li Nanxing and actress Constance Song, who appeared alongside Chen yesterday, had nothing but praise for the veteran star.

Li, 51, said: "I saw that bikini picture and I must say that Feng Jie (Mandarin for sister) has done a fantastic job at upkeeping herself. All guys will take a second look at her."

Song, 40, who called Chen "an inspiration to women", agreed.

But Chen has her share of detractors who criticise her for "not acting her age".

She said: "I take all comments, good or bad, in stride. That is part and parcel of being in showbiz.

"If someone tells me that I am 'acting cute', I'd simply retort, 'I am young at heart'."

LOOKING GOOD: Chen Meifeng uploaded a photo of herself wearing a hot pink bikini on her Facebook page in 2014. PHOTOS: FACEBOOK/ CHEN MEIFENG

6m-tall tree falls on overhead bridge at Braddell

SHOCKED: Mr Izzy said the overhead bridge and path below are common routes for students going to a nearby secondary school.

A 6m-tall tree fell on an overhead bridge at Braddell Road on Thursday night, destroying part of the roof of the sheltered ramp.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the incident which happened at about 10.45pm.

Madam Heng Kwee Ying, 52, a housewife who lives nearby, went with her son to see what had happened. He had received a photograph of the fallen tree in a WhatsApp message from a friend.

She was surprised by the extent of the damage when they got there at 11.30pm.

COLLAPSE

The roof of the ramp had collapsed and the pedestrian pathway below the bridge was blocked.

"Good thing nobody was hurt," said Madam Heng.

She said she saw two policemen at the scene and noticed that the lights were out for half of the bridge.

A service line manager known only as Mr Izzy, 40, called The New Paper hotline yesterday morning about the incident.

He was surprised to find the overhead bridge closed as it was his usual route to work.

"It was quite dangerous," said Mr Izzy, adding that he could not imagine what may have happened if students had been there.

He said the overhead bridge and the pedestrian pathway are common routes for Guangyang Secondary School students to get to school.

The New Paper understands that workers had been working since 8am yesterday to lift the fallen tree using a crane from inside the school.

A spokesman for the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said full repair works are expected to take several weeks and LTA will install temporary shelters and railings.

The recent heavy downpour is suspected to have caused the tree to fall, said the Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council, which is responsible for the clean-up of the fallen tree.

Men fight with chopper and saw over money

Man jailed 8 months for role in fight over money

VIOLENT: Less than a month before the attack, Joseph Tan Chee Meng had been warned by the police after assaulting and threatening to kill a man.

They fought to settle a dispute over money.

One was armed with a saw, the other with a chopper.

But they both lost when they were arrested and jailed.

Car workshop worker Joseph Tan Chee Meng, 49, simply could not stay out of trouble.

In March last year, he assaulted a man and threatened to kill him.

He got off with a police warning on June 11 that year.

But Tan, who has been in and out of jail since the 1990s for assault and drug offences, was at it again less than a month later.

He used a saw to attack Kua Cheow Wah, 38, at a carpark near Block 176, Boon Lay Drive, to settle their money dispute.

Tan was yesterday jailed for eight months after pleading guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt with the weapon.

One count each of voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation were taken into consideration during sentencing.

On July 1, he had arranged to meet Kua at the carpark around 10am to settle the dispute.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Goh Yi Ling said Tan had armed himself with a saw wrapped in newspapers.

Kua came with a chopper.

They ran towards each other and fought.

Kua slashed Tan's wrist with his chopper and Tan struck back several times with the saw.

A witness called the police.

The men fled the scene and got rid of their weapons.

Tan went to the National University Hospital later that dayand he was treated for a deep cut on his right wrist.

Kua, who suffered cuts to his right arm and left hand, went to Tan Tock Seng Hospital five days later.

He was jailed five months on Feb 26 this year for his role in the fight.

Urging the court to jail Tan for nine months, DPP Goh told District Judge Liew Thiam Leng that Tan was a member of an unlawful society.

His lawyer, Ms Hilda Foo, asked Judge Liew to sentence him to no more than five months' jail.

She said Kua, who suffered minor injuries, had provoked her client.

For voluntarily causing hurt with the saw, Tan could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined or caned.

On March 21 last year, Tan had punched and kicked Mr Teo Teow Koon at Block 175 in the same neighbourhood.

A week later, he met Mr Teo again at the same spot and threatened to kill him by saying: "You all don't let me see you again or I will let you all die."

The police were notified and Tan was warned last June.

Founder of famed Haron Satay stall dies

HAWKERS: (Above) Mr Haron Abu Bakar, founder of Haron Satay, has died. His daughter, Madam Harlina Haron, now runs the stall with her sister.
HAWKERS: Mr Haron Abu Bakar, founder of Haron Satay, has died. His daughter, Madam Harlina Haron (above), now runs the stall with her sister.

One of Singapore's famed hawker masters has died.

Mr Haron Abu Bakar, 69, the founder of Haron Satay at East Coast Lagoon Food Village, died on Wednesday morning.

Mr KF Seetoh, founder of the Makansutra food guide, said: "Singapore has lost a makan icon."

Haron Satay, which has been featured extensively in food review websites, has consistently garnered food awards.Picked by a panel of food critics from The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao, it was named a Singapore Hawker Master in the satay category in 2011.

It was also picked as a top choice in The Business Times' series on hawker food and emerged as a favourite of many in a poll conducted by Berita Harian two years ago.

According to a previous report by The Business Times, Haron Satay provided the satay for Singapore Airlines events in the old days, and was possibly even the inspiration for the airline's long-standing airborne satay service.

It also said the stall provided satay to the Istana.

Said Mr Seetoh: "I don't see anyone coming into the fray to fill up his spot, other than his family continuing his legacy."

Mr Seetoh, who also has a food column in The New Paper on Sunday, said he worked with Mr Haron when he was setting up the now-defunct Food Culture foodcourt at Far East Square about 10 years ago.

"He was a hard-working and earnest man who personally oversaw the projects with his family," Mr Seetoh said.

His daughter, Madam Harlina Haron (above), now runs the stall with her sister.

According to Madam Harlina Haron, 43, the second of Mr Haron's four children, her father had died of complications due to heart disease and kidney failure.

"He's been sick for a while, but his condition became worse in the last couple of years," she said.

Haron Satay was established 41 years ago when Mr Haron left his job as an officer with the fire brigade, said Madam Harlina.

It was set up with his wife, Madam Saedah Dobal, 59,and has operated from East Coast Lagoon Food Village ever since.

TAKE OVER

Madam Harlina took over the business together with her sister, Madam Shima Salim, 46, seven years ago when their father first fell ill.

When asked, Madam Harlina said she initially wanted to close the stall for a week or so, but could not do so as they have orders to fulfil. She said Haron Satay would be open by today.

Despite being surrounded by similar stalls, Haron Satay still gets snaking queues.

Madam Harlina told The Business Times that their recipe calls for the marinated meat to be grilled for five to seven minutes, without a shortcut.

Some customers love the satay so much, they even buy frozen sticks to take overseas.

"Our satay has gone to Dubai and Florida," Madam Harlina was reported as saying.

A fan closer to home, Madam Maslinda Masrol, 42, said: "My family and I have been to Haron Satay before and would go again. Not only is their satay juicy and scrumptious, they serve a very nice peanut sauce as well."

It is a good thing Haron Satay is family-run, she said, adding: "Hopefully his satay recipe will be passed on through the generations."

He's been sick for a while, but his condition became worse in the last couple of years.

- Madam Harlina Haron, who took over the business from her father seven years ago, when he first fell ill

Father helps son abduct wife's lover, both men jailed

Father helps son abduct wife's lover, both men jailed 6 months

He suspected his estranged wife of having an affair and decided to confront the man for a confession.

Muhammad Rizal Razali roped in his father, Razali Hodri, and together, they assaulted the man before tying him up in the wee hours of July 20, 2012.

They forced the victim into a lorry and drove to a flat belonging to the estranged wife's mother to extract a confession.

The two jobless men were each sentenced to six months' jail yesterday after pleading guilty to one count of abduction of Mr Muhammad Khail Khairul Anuar, 27.

Charges over their assault of Mr Khail were taken into consideration.

Rizal, now 30, married Ms Irna Sabrina Sabri, 25, in September 2011.

Less than a year later, while they were still applying for a divorce, Ms Irna Sabrina got into a relationship with Mr Khail.

On July 20, 2012, Rizal phoned Mr Khail to confront him, after suspecting him of having an affair with his wife.

Later that morning, he met Razali, now 50, and drove him in a lorry to a Ghim Moh Road carpark. They went to the void deck of Block 16 to confront Mr Khail.

But the situation escalated at around 3.15am when Razali suddenly slapped Mr Khail.

Mr Khail tried to use his mobile phone to call for help, but dropped it when Rizal hit his hand. When he tried to pick it up, Rizal restrained him in a headlock.

In the struggle that ensued, Mr Khail's T-shirt got torn off, leaving him bare-bodied. He broke free and ran away, but fell down.

Rizal caught up with him and again held him in a headlock before handing him over to Razali, who restrained him.

Rizal then punched Mr Khail's face multiple times.

He and Razali took Mr Khail to their lorry, where he bound Mr Khail's hands and neck with a rope.

The two men forced him into the cabin of the lorry and drove off.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Jason Nim said: "During the journey, Razali questioned the victim regarding the suspected extramarital affair and demanded that he be truthful by threatening to hurt him using a pair of pliers."

The men then picked up Ms Irna Sabrina and her father and made their way to her mother's home in Bukit Batok.

There, they had a discussion about the relationship. Court papers did not mention the outcome of this meeting.

However, Mr Khail was later allowed to leave with Ms Irna Sabrina and her father.

Mr Khail went to the National University Hospital that day.

His injuries included cuts on his face, right lower back and arms.

DPP Nim urged District Judge Ng Peng Hong to jail the men for at least six months each.

PREMEDITATED

Stressing that the offence was premeditated, he added: "They made arrangements to meet up with the victim (and) the incident savours of an act of revenge against the victim."

The men's lawyer, Mr Amarick Gill, asked for his clients to each be jailed for between three and four months.

He said: "All they wanted was a confession from Khail on the affair."

Before handing out the sentence, Judge Ng said that violence was used on Mr Khail, causing him "significant terror".

The New Paper understands that the couple have finalised their divorce.

For abducting Mr Khail, the two men could have each been jailed up to seven years and fined or caned.

During the journey, Razali questioned the victim regarding the suspected extramarital affair and demanded that he be truthful by threatening to hurt him using a pair of pliers.

- Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Jason Nim

Singaporeans keep watch over Heng Swee Keat's progress

Singaporeans, from Ministers to men in the street, are keeping watch over Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat's progress

GET WELL SOON: Ms Shirley Wong from Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation with a gift at TTSH's Heritage Museum yesterday. 


Tributes, get-well wishes and prayers poured in for Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat as he remained at the intensive care unit (ICU) in Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) yesterday.

After an outpouring of support from well-wishers, a table was set up at TTSH's Heritage Museum yesterday for cards and gifts for Mr Heng, 54, a Tampines GRC MP.

Religious leaders from 10 faiths of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) gathered at their office at Maxwell Road to offer their prayers for his speedy recovery.

Mr Heng collapsed during a Cabinet meeting on Thursday. He had suffered a sudden stroke due to an aneurysm - a localised weakening of a blood vessel.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gave an update on Mr Heng's condition in a Facebook post.

"Visited Heng Swee Keat at the ICU in Tan Tock Seng Hospital this evening. He was sedated. His condition is stable, but he will remain in the ICU for some time," Mr Lee wrote.

"He is in very good hands, like all patients at the National Neuroscience Institute."

Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan wrote in a Facebook post that Mr Heng was stable and the procedures done on Thursday were successful.

Dr Balakrishnan, a former ophthalmologist, was one of the three doctors who attended to Mr Heng when he collapsed.

He added: "But these are early days, and he will need close monitoring in the ICU for quite some time more."

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth Baey Yam Keng joined the religious leaders of the IRO to pray for Mr Heng yesterday evening.

Imam Habib Hassan from the Ba'alwie Mosque called for a minute of silence to pray for Mr Heng's "smooth, speedy and full recovery".

The imam said that he had met Mr Heng when he was Education Minister and called him "one of the most dedicated leaders in Singapore and one that Singapore needs".

OVERCOME ADVERSITY

DPM Tharman, who will be covering Mr Heng's duties as Finance Minister, also paid tribute to him in a short speech. He said that he had known him for two decades, when Mr Heng joined the Ministry of Education as a civil servant.

"Swee Keat represents the best in all of us. (He is) humble, someone who is able to overcome adversity. And someone who has the ability to work with everyone.

"He represents the best of Singapore, something we all aspire to be."

Tributes for Mr Heng came from all over Singapore.

Netizens sent their get-well wishes with the hashtags #prayforsweekeat and #getwellsoonhsk.

At TTSH, flowers and gifts filled the table. A couple, who declined to be named, placed flowers for Mr Heng yesterday evening.

"We just want to show our concern for him, and we certainly hope he is recovering well," the woman said.

Staff from Tampines Town Council folded paper cranes in a symbolic gesture for Mr Heng's recovery.

A post on their Facebook yesterday read: "It is believed that one will be granted eternal good luck and recovery from an illness. Fold a crane to #prayforsweekeat"

Mr Baey, who is a Tampines MP, said yesterday that the remaining four MPs of the GRC have discussed how they can ensure that residents will continue to be taken care of and will announce their plans at a community event today.

Mr Tharman said that it is times like this which show the unity of Singaporeans.

"Life has its up and downs, for all of us, when things are down, we come together to hope, pray and support. This is how we come up again.

"Swee Keat, with the love of his family, his wife and two children, and the prayers of the nation, will recover."

Visited Heng Swee Keat at the ICU in Tan Tock Seng Hospital this evening. He was sedated. His condition is stable, but he will remain in the ICU for some time- Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, giving an update on Mr Heng's condition in a Facebook post

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