Strong contacts lead to scoop on AHPETC saga
As 2015 comes to a close, The New Paper looks back at the top stories from our pages this year, and offers a glimpse behind the scenes
It was through strong contacts that reporters Tan Tam Mei, Ng Jun Sen and Melvin Singh managed to score this scoop on Singapore politics.
They broke the story on how the relationship between Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) and its former managing agent FM Solutions & Services (FMSS) had soured following the Auditor-General's Office report in March.
FMSS was incorporated in 2011 soon after the Workers' Party (WP) won the Aljunied group representation constituency in the 2011 General Election.
FMSS had sent a letter of demand to WP, claiming that the town council owed it more than $3.5 million for services provided between April and July 14.
Town council staff said AHPETC and FMSS had been locked in talks over financial matters for several months.
Mr Singh said that a source he had cultivated in 2011 alerted him to the information needed to break this story.
A second source provided relevant documents to verify the claims in the story, while a third confirmed other details.
So even though both the FMSS and the town council declined comment on the matter, the reporters managed to score the scoop anyway.
Mr Singh said: "We attended seemingly unimportant events to cement a relationship with the contacts.
"Word went around that we were to be trusted. That's how we got the story."
Man kills lover before hanging himself
It was a tragic end for this couple, who seemed passionately in love till jealousy got the better of them.
He was willing to do anything for her. She had his name inked on her chest.
Their bodies were found in a Geylang hotel room. Her throat was slashed and her body covered in stab wounds. His body was hanging in the bathroom.
Indian national Chinnasamy Baskar, 30, had met Indonesian Ruli Widyawati, 28, at Hotel 81 earlier that fateful Sunday.
Notes scattered on the floor indicated his rage. In one, he had written: "I kill you. I know everything."
Investigation officer Senior Staff Sergeant Aliden Hamad told State Coroner Marvin Bay that based on available evidence, he believed that Mr Chinnasamy, a construction worker, had killed Ms Ruli, a domestic worker, before hanging himself.
Tenants turned flat into brothel
CAUGHT: Police raided the flat four times and confirmed that it was being used for illegal activities. - LIANHE WANBAO FILE PHOTO
A local landlord was shocked when she found out that the flat she had rented out to three men from China was turned into a brothel.
She had not suspected anything as the men claimed that they had respectable professions and held valid S passes.
The police had called her to inform her that they raided the flat four times and confirmed that it was being used for illegal activities.
The landlord, who did not want to be identified as she had hopes of renting out the flat again, was also dismayed to find out how dirty the flat was. Unwashed dishes, a leaking toilet pipe and at least 20 towels were strewn everywhere.
She said she also had to replace all the mattresses in the flat.
Suicidal landlord set fire to flat with tenants in it
A landlord set fire to his flat after he quarrelled with his wife over the phone. One of his tenants and her 3½-year old daughter were in the flat at that time.
The 45-year-old man claimed that he had tried to take his own life but he got scared after he saw that the fire had grown bigger.
Apparently, his wife was a stubborn woman who made him cry often.
He recounted this to one of his tenants, Mr Johnson, who had rushed home after he heard about the fire from his wife. Mr Johnson had wanted to make sure that his wife and daughter were safe.
The tenants, both 29, and their daughter had just moved into the 12th-storey flat at Block 688A, Choa Chu Kang Drive, earlier that day.
No one was hurt in the fire even though the flat was badly damaged.
Man's hands & feet amputated after food poisoning
SHOCKING: Mr Tan Whee Boon with his gangrenous hands and feet wrapped in thick bandages and his wife, Madam Choong Siet Mei. - PHOTO COURTESY OF MR TAN WHEE BOON
Two men ate the same raw fish dish at a food centre in Chinatown, but only one of them was affected.
Mr Tan Whee Boon's former teacher was fine while Mr Tan, then 50, showed symptoms of food poisoning three days after.
Doctors at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) diagnosed the technician with severe pneumonia that was complicated by sepsis.
While the exact cause of Mr Tan's condition was not determined, initial investigations found three types of bacteria in his body. KTPH's medical team said Mr Tan's condition could have been caused by any strain of the bacteria, or a combination.
Mr Tan was given a drug to direct blood flow to his vital organs, but that very drug turned his hands and feet gangrenous. His hands and feet had to be amputated.