Actress Rui En 'didn't try to leave' after accident
Local actress Rui En allegedly crashes BMW into parked motorbike at Clementi carpark. Bike owner (right) says:
He heard a bang and was horrified to see his motorcycle lying on the kerb and a damaged BMW coupe next to it.
As the car reversed, Mr Bahrom Sarmiten, 52,(above) feared that the driver was trying to leave the scene. He ran to the BMW's rear and banged on the boot several times.
But the car continued reversing. He then chased it for a few metres before it stopped.
After awhile, a woman wearing sunglasses emerged from the car.
Mr Bahrom told The New Paper yesterday: "All she said was, 'Do you know who I am?'"
He was stunned.
Upset over the damage to his Bajaj RS200 motorcycle, which he had bought for $13,300 just three months ago, he said: "I told her, 'I don't care if you're a minister's daughter'."
Mr Bahrom (below), who works as a driver, said the woman did not respond to him.
Only much later did he find out from passers-by that the driver was Channel 8 actress Rui En, who is in the running for four awards at this Sunday's Star Awards.
Mr Bahrom said he was about to go home after visiting his mother at about 4.10pm on Tuesday when the accident happened at the open carpark near Block 331, Clementi Avenue 2.
"I was so shocked. When I thought that the car was not going to stop, I immediately ran after it," he said.
"I banged on the boot of the car with my hands many times."
The car then got off the kerb, made a left turn and stopped about three metres away from the accident site.
"I really thought she was going to run away," said Mr Bahrom.
Rui En's artist management company, Hype Records, released a statement yesterday saying that the actress had "no intention of ignoring or even running away from her responsibility".
Mr Bahrom saidthat Rui En offered him $2,000 to settle the matter privately, but he turned it down because he did not think it would cover the cost of repairs to his damaged bike.
Coincidentally, his sister, a nurse, who had just parked her car nearby, called the police when she saw Mr Bahrom's damaged bike.
They arrived about 10 minutes later and asked Rui En to take a breathalyser test.
Witnesses later saw Rui En being taken away in a police car.
"I didn't know she was an actress. I found out only when some passers-by told me about her," Mr Bahrom said.
A resident who saw the accident corroborated Mr Bahrom's version of events.
The 62-year-old retiree, who declined to be named, said he heard a crash from her second-storey flat.
She told TNP in Mandarin: "From my window, I saw Rui En's car on the kerb. The owner of the motorbike ran over and started hitting the back of her car.
"I recognised her car because I had seen her driving it around the area previously.
"It wasn't a loud confrontation. They were both calm when they were talking."
Confirming the accident involving a car and a stationary motorcycle at a carpark near Block 331, Clementi Avenue 2, on Tuesday, the police said that a 35-year-old female driver was assisting with investigations.
Manager: She had 'no intention to run away'
Rui En had "no intention of ignoring or even running away from her responsibility" after the "unfortunate accident", her artist management company, Hype Records, said in a statement yesterday.
According to the statement, the actress was driving home at around 4.10pm on Tuesday when, "due to some misjudgment, she accidentally knocked over a stationary motorcycle" at the carpark near her block.
No other driver and no one was hit or involved in the accident, it added.
The statement said that Rui En has parked there every day for many years. It added: "To avoid any congestion from oncoming traffic, she wanted to park her vehicle before addressing the matter, but was stopped by the owner (of the motorcycle)".
Hype Records said the owner was "understandably upset", but unfortunately misunderstood Rui En's "intention to position her vehicle in a safe area".
"The owner was very angry and reported the incident to the police," the company said, and apologised for "any inconvenience caused".
"As with most reported cases, the police will look into the matter and revert upon their investigation."
When contacted, Hype Records head Ken Lim declined to comment on the "personal matter".
The New Paper understands that Rui En was filming Channel 8 cop drama C.L.I.F. 4. In the TV series, which premieres in September, she reprises her role as Criminal Investigation Department officer Huang Zhijie.
Rui En's fans stand by her
When she heard that her favourite star, Rui En, was involved in an accident, her first thought was whether the actress had been hurt.
Miss Peh Xin Yi, the president of Rui En's fan club, RBKD, told The New Paper over the phone yesterday: "Like all her other fans, my initial reaction was, 'Oh my God, was she injured?'.
"It could have been a minor or major accident. I didn't know the details yet."
And until she hears Rui En's side of the story, the 28-year-old refuses to pass judgment on the situation.
When asked if she was shocked over the incident, she said: "I think it's important to be neutral first... until I find out the actual story."
The loyal fan believes that Rui En's brush with the law would not affect the support from the fan club's estimated 100 members.
They will continue to support her at this year's Star Awards, where she has been nominated in four categories - Best Actress, Favourite Female Character, Favourite Onscreen Couple and Toggle Most Beloved Celebrity BFF Award.
She will also receive the All-Time Favourite Artiste Award at the awards show on Sunday, which is given to those who have won the Top 10 Most Popular Female or Male Artiste award 10 times.
Asked about her support for Rui En at the Star Awards, Miss Peh said: "Don't even ask, that is not even a question. For me, she has my vote of confidence."
- Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman