SINGAPORE- Before the mayhem unfolded for 19-year-old Ridhwan Azman, he was enjoying the rewards of his journey from a regular YouTuber to a famed local actor.
Local director Jack Neo had given him his big-screen break with the two Ah Boys To Men movies, and he went from zero to hero.
Unfortunately, Ridhwan became a zero again after photographs of him hitting his 18-year-old then-girlfriend surfaced in August, just before he enlisted for national service.
Having turned over a new leaf, a duly chastened Ridhwan, who is now friends with his ex, said he "doesn't expect much" as long as he "keeps doing what he loves" as he had never planned to become a star.
But this #Fail of The Year winner - in other words, 2013's biggest loser - is not giving up so quickly. He wanted to win this award when we first nominated him, and now he has.
He told The New Paper: "I'm accepting how things have turned out for me.
"The army came at the right time for me, especially with all the drama that I had to deal with. So far, national service has really helped me grow and improve as an individual in terms of work ethic, attitude and most of all, discipline."
He garnered 82 votes in the category, beating two failed mega music events this year - MBC Korean Music Wave (35 votes) and 1 World Music Festival (23 votes).
Ridhwan was not available to accept the trophy before we went to print as he has been in camp for the past two weeks, though we will make sure he gets it soon.
He said regretfully: "It is nothing to be proud of, but then again, not many people admit to their mistakes, and more importantly, learn from them."
So even though the incident provoked a flood of criticism, Ridhwan has won over some people with his sincere and repentant approach and is more than happy to answer young fans who have turned to him, asking for advice on their own situations.
Ridhwan revealed: "They actually tell me their stories and some of them are just 13 or 14 years old. From what I've read, they really go through a lot worse. It's just very sad."
And he emphasises one very important point.
He said: "I will always reiterate the fact that it is and will never be right for any guy to hit any woman, no matter what."
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