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     Singapore - Things You Should Know

Things You Should Know

       Blk 564 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3.

     On 21 Feb 2000, six people died when a three-room flat in Blk 564 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 was razed by a huge fire. Less than two months later, the owner renovated the flat and put it up for rent. Filipino expatriate Mr Antonio and his sister, who were unaware of the tragedy at first, moved into the flat on 15 Apr 2000 but left soon after when large brown stains began appearing in the master bedroom.

         Balmeg Court, off Pasir Panjang Road

     An 18-year-old youth, Mr Lee Poh Poh, drowned in a pool at Balmeg Court on 27 Feb 2000.

         Choa Chu Kang Swimming Complex

     An eight-year-old boy died after he was rescued from the wave pool at the new Choa Chu Kang Swimming Complex on Saturday. CHUA Jun Jie apparently slipped off to the pool while his parents were packing to go home. He was found floating in the 1.6m deep section of the pool, near a step-ladder. The child who did not know how to swim, did not have the float he had used earlier. The wave pool, which began operating on 1 May 2001, is part of the Choa Chu Kang Sports and Fitness Centre which was launched by Prime Minister GOH Chok Tong a week ago. (Straits Times 9 Jul 2001) (1)

       Commodity-Trading Firms: Rogue firms

     Beware of rogue commodity-trading firms that advertise Positions To Be Filled in the local newspapers, but actually hoodwink job-seekers into signing trading contracts with them. Click HERE for the story.

       Counterfeit Notes

     More than 100 counterfeit S$100 notes from the Ship series have surfaced and more may be still circulating, police said on 10 Jun 2000. Most of the notes which have surfaced have the same serial number: A/33/945618. They have turned up in 80 separate investigations since 1999.

         Fragrance Hotel

     The body of a Bangladeshi woman, believed to be murdered, was found in a Geylang hotel room on 23 Feb 2000. She had checked in alone at Fragrance Hotel in Lorong 6 the previous week.

       Fantasy Island, SENTOSA

     An eight-year-old girl drowned when she was sucked under the rubber-foam lining of an adventure ride when her raft overturned in March 2000.

       Green Garden Bar Restaurant in Serangoon Road

  Tan Kim San, 48, and his wife, Yap Kwee Chin, 47 - the owners of Green Garden Bar Restaurant in Serangoon Road - were fined S$6500 each for their roles in a scam in which cheap brandy was poured into Martell and Hennessy bottles, and then sold as the genuine liquor. In a district court on 8 Nov 2000, Tan's brother Tan Kim Teong admitted trying to defraud the Government of customs duties and not paying GST by bottling the liquors illegally in the attic of the restaurant since June last year. He was fined a total of S$61,500. The racket was exposed when a team of customs officers raided the Green Garden Restaurant on 23 Oct 2000 after a tip-off. (Straits Times 11 Nov 2000)

       Himiko Court (Ridgewood Close)

     A woman, believed to be a foreigner, died more than two hours after she and another woman, also believed to be a foreigner, were both found floating face-up in a swimming pool at Himiko Court in Ridgewood Close, off Mount Sinai Drive on 30 Oct 2000. The other died in hospital on 31 Oct 2000. Their identities could not be confirmed. (Straits Times 31 Oct 2000) The two women who drowned in the swimming pool at Himiko Court in Ridgewood Close have been identified as Indonesian maids Miss Sumiati Jarwan, 20, and Miss Sundari Rusmin, 23. (Straits Times 1 Nov 2000)

         Hotel New World

     Hotel New World, located at the junction of Serangoon Road and Owen Road, collapsed on 15 Mar 1986 at about 11.25am. It was only 15 years old. The hotel was a one-star budget hotel popular with Indian, Malaysian and Thai tourists. The six-storey building which housed the hotel was called Lian Yak Building. The Industrial and Commercial Bank occupied the ground floor. The 67-room Hotel was earlier known as New Serangoon Hotel.

     About one hundred people were feared to be trapped under the rubble.     Tunnelling experts from Britain, Ireland and Japan who were involved in the construction of the Mass Rapid Transit helped  to rescue eight victims. A total of 17 people were rescued eventually, 33 people died and 104 others were injured.

     A Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate the cause of the unprecedented collapse found that under-designing, shoddy workmanship and corner cutting by the contractors were responsible for the sudden collapse of the building.

      On its site now stands the Fortuna Hotel.

       Blk 652A Jurong West Street 61

  An 11-month-old baby girl plunged 12 storeys to her death after apparently climbing to an open grilleless bedroom window and wandering onto the ledge outside it. The police found Preethi Udaysankar's footprints on the ledge outside the flat at Block 652A in Jurong West Street 61. (Straits Times 24 May 2002) (3)

       Le Meridien Changi

     A 54-year-old Canadian tourist drowned in a hotel swimming pool 26 Feb 2001 during an early-morning dip with his two young children, aged 11 and 7. Police confirmed that the accident happened at about 8.15am at Le Meridien Changi, a hotel situated in Changi Village. The swimming pool is on the 6th floor. There was no lifeguard on duty at the circular pool which has a maximum depth of 2 metres. (Straits Times 27 Feb 2001)

       Crossing over to Malacca for a short holiday? Take note of the following:

     A Singaporean account manager and his Welsh colleague were robbed of laptop computers worth S$14000 on the North-South Highway by a group of men posing as Malaysian police. Mr Vincent Chua & his friend, who work for Intel Technology Asia, were returning here from Malacca around 3pm on 6 Jun 2000 when the robbery took place.

       Newton Food Centre

     A man who killed a drunk Australian IT consultant at Newton Food Centre on Jan 3 this year was jailed for seven years on 7 Dec 2001 for manslaughter. NAH Chee Khoon, 29, unemployed, had grabbed a knife from Mr Alyn James Patch's hand and thrust it into Mr Patch's chest during a struggle. Mr Patch, 39, a senior consultant with a computer company, died from a stab wound to the left lung and chest.

     Eight hawkers have been suspended for touting so far in popular Newton Food Centre this year, with three cases reported in July 2000. In the three recent cases, Newton Grilled Seafood, Alliance Seafood and Soon Wah Fishball Kuay Teow Mee were each slapped with suspensions of two to four weeks. The eight stall-holders were taken to task for using strong-arm tactics, such as pulling customers' hands and blocking their path.

       Orchard Road

     The number of cases of pick-pocketing and shoplifting in Orchard Road has been falling steadily. These are the most common crimes in the busy shopping belt of Singapore. While 380 cases of pick-pocketing were reported in 1998, only 150 cases surfaced last year, marking a 60.5% decrease. One reason for this was that the cops in Tanglin Police Division had managed to wipe out the foreign gangs that struck during the Great Singapore Sale last year. Fewer people were also caught for shoplifting - a 21.2% decrease, from 659 cases in 1998 to 519 last year.

       Parkview Condominium

     An overseas student was found motionless in the deep end of the pool at Parkview Condominium on 26 Jun 2002. Chinese national ZHANG Yuhua, 22, was pronounced dead at the National University Hospital. (Straits Times 28 Jun 2002) (H2) 

       Pinewood Gardens condominium

     Singaporean Audrey ONG Pei Ling, 23, arrested after she was extradited here from Australia, was yesterday charged in a district court with helping an alleged killer erase murder evidence. The secretary's boss, Briton Michael McCrae, is accused of killing his chauffeur, KHO Nai Guan, 46, and a woman, identified as Chinese national LAN Ya Ming, 30. ONG faces one charge of helping McCrae to clean up KHO's bloodstains on the floor of McCrae's flat in Pinewood Gardens condominium in Balmoral Park. (Straits Times 13 Nov 2002) (1) 

       Blk 17 Teck Whye Lane

  A woman and her 4-month old baby boy fell to their deaths at Block 17 Teck Whye Lane on the night of 18 Aug 2003. China national and Singapore PR Madam Xu Jin Ying are believed to have fallen from the 12th storey. Police are treating her son's death as murder and hers as unnatural death. (Straits Times 20 Aug 2003 5)

       Toa Payoh Central, Block 179

     Two women, wearing identical red T-shirts, fell to their deaths from a 25-storey block of flats in Toa Payoh Central on 16 Apr 2001. Police found the bodies of the two women, aged 20 and 31, at Blk 179 at about 6.30am. It is not known if both women wore red deliberately. According to Chinese superstition, the spirits of those who die wearing red will return to haunt those who wronged them.

       Yishun Ring Road, Block 362

     Police found the body of a badly-slashed woman in a Yishun flat in Block 362, Yishun Ring Road early on 22 Mar 2001, after a man called to say a woman had been killed. The caller, a 51-year-old man, is in police custody on suspicion of murdering ZHEN Xiujuan, a 31-year-old Chinese national.