Die-hard Batman fans: Cop dresses up to cheer sick kids

Die-hard Batman fans: Cop dresses up to cheer sick kids
LIGHT UP: Mr Jacen Khoo dresses up as Batman to cheer up young patients at KK Women's and Children's Hospital last year.

Much like Batman, Mr Jacen Khoo has dedicated his life to fighting crime - he is a police officer.

But when the weekend rolls around, he trades in his blue uniform for a black one and dons a cape, lending support to charity events and cheering up less fortunate children.

The 31-year-old father of three leads Pause for Cause, a group of 90 cosplayers who dress up as famous characters to promote good causes.

Just yesterday, Mr Khoo and some of his group members made an appearance at a superhero-themed birthday party for a five-year-old with leukaemia. The event was organised in collaboration with non-profit organisation, Make-A-Wish Foundation.

While Mr Khoo is aware that his appearance does not alleviate physical pain or remove the consequences of a ravaging disease, being able to bring momentary joy and delight to a child is exceedingly gratifying.

"I can't describe the feeling to you," he says. "You look at this kid, who is supposed to be at his lowest when receiving chemotherapy, smiling when he sees his favourite superhero right in front of him. It's very fulfilling."

His mostly handmade costume is the result of a month of painstaking effort involving lots of cutting, glueing and painting.

"When I had time, I spent an hour or two after work constructing it," he says with a hint of pride. He finally completed the project in October last year.

There have been many versions of Batman, but only one Batsuit would do for Mr Khoo.

"I was inspired by the realistic, military design from Batman Begins," he says.

The 2005 film's darker depiction of the DC Comics superhero is what ignited Mr Khoo's fascination with the Caped Crusader.

While his costume looks impressive and is close to the movie version, he admits he is not naturally gifted in handicraft and that it was his knowledge of cosplay techniques that enabled him to find inventive ways to create the outfit.

His Batsuit, which cost him about $200 to make, is mainly constructed from EVA foam sheets, a denser version of craft foam that children use. He ordered it online from Malaysia.

Even more impressive is how he crafted his own Bat mask. By "unfolding" a digital 3D model of it using a computer programme, he recreated the pattern on foam and then reassembled it into a wearable mask.

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