Throwback 2014: June

Throwback 2014: June
Lionel Lye, who reopened at Simpang Bedok earlier this year despite losing nearly $1 million in his social enterprise.

JUNE 23

I'd do it againin a heartbeat

It was a $1 million lesson, Mr Lionel Lye readily admits.

Kampung@Simpang Bedok, was a not-for-profit food centre he and 12 friends started in 2012. It shut down in October last year.

Singaporeans were not quite ready to go the extra mile to support it.

Mr Lye said of the social enterprise's failure: "(People) didn't want to climb the stairs, that's the main complaint. Sometimes when the food is slow, or not that good, they just don't come back after one time."

It was especially painful for him as he had personally sunk in $200,000.

Yet Mr Lye stills feels strongly about the hawker centre space on the second level of a sprawling complex tucked away behind a row of shophouses on Bedok Road.

"I have such a passion for this place, and I didn't want to see it go to waste," he said.

So he brought in BC Food Concept, which also owns The Bark Cafe at Changi Chapel & Museum, and an advertising arm, Creative Toolbox.

The new owners are a group of seven partners, with BC Food Concept the main owners running the show.

The entire space, renamed Bedok Marketplace, has been redesigned to look like 1950s Singapore and opened earlier this month.

Instead of the previous 32 stalls, there are 15. Of these, 11 have already opened, with two more likely to be ready by the new year.

TWO STALLS

Mr Lye manages two of the stalls: seafood stall Crab Story and a Taiwanese porridge stall.

"By day, I'm a renovation contractor. At night, I become a hawker," he said with a laugh.

Asked about whether he might some day return to running a social enterprise, he smiled.

He said: "We always want to try, and certainly some day we will go back to helping others. But first, we need to get the business right."

JUNE 5

Ang Mo Kio murder-suicide

For over a decade, the mother and daughter lived together in a four-room flat on Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4.

But they shared a tempestuous relationship, fighting over everything, including food.

On June 4, something went terribly wrong: Ms Andrea Tay, 51, killed her mother, Madam Rosaline Lim, 75, in their flat.

She later leapt out of the kitchen window, severing her legs at the knees when she hit a laundry rack on the way down.

Ms Tay's 17-year-old daughter was in the bedroom during the entire incident. She reported hearing her mother and grandmother arguing, before her grandmother went silent, followed by "five minutes of hacking sounds".

During a coroner's inquiry earlier this month, it was revealed that Ms Tay used a chopper and a knife on Madam Lim, whose wounds numbered "in the hundreds".

The older woman's eyes and part of her tongue were recovered on a grass patch the following day, while a part of her right lung still remains missing.

State Coroner Marvin Bay ruled the incident an "unlawful killing" and a suicide.

JUNE 12

Legless body in Syed Alwi

A rag-and-bone man found a luggage bag containing a legless body in Little India on June 11.

The body was identified as that of a Pakistani man.

On June 12, two of his compatriots were arrested on Rowell Road at about 3pm.

That evening, the missing limbs were found in a Muslim cemetery near the junction by Jalan Kubor and Rochor Canal Road.

The suspects, Ramzan Rizwan, 25, and Rasheed Muhammad, 43, were charged in court on June 14 with the murder of Mr Muhammad Noor, 59.

Psychiatric assessments certified both men fit to plead. If convicted of murder, they will be hanged.

When contacted by The New Paper on Thursday, one of the co-owners of the boarding house where the murder allegedly took place declined to comment, adding: "I just don't want to speak about it any more."

JUNE 18

S'porean duo jailed in UK for match fixing

Kelong kings Chann Sankaran (right), 33, and Krishna Sanjey Ganeshan, 43, were convicted by a British court of conspiracy to commit bribery.

Both Singaporeans were sentenced to five years in prison in the UK on June 20.

In June 2013, Chann had bragged during a meeting with a "potential investor" that he had been in the match-fixing business for "eight to nine years", and openly shared details of his syndicate's operation with the man.

Little did he know that the "investor" was an undercover match-fixing investigator from SI Sports Intelligence.

Their hour-long meeting in a London hotel was secretly filmed by SI operatives.

During the meeting, Chann told the investigator that he had been match fixing for "eight to nine years", and that footballers would deliver what they wanted "if we pay them good".

"Their salary is 3,000 euros (S$5,000) a month. For one match, I offer them 7,000 euros," he was recorded as saying.

Then a delivery assistant in Singapore, Chann did not hide his links to convicted Singaporean match fixer Wilson Raj Perumal, calling him "boss".

Past reports have said that Krishna worked for a sports promotion company, but little else is known about him and his role in the syndicate.


This article was first published on December 24, 2014.
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