S'porean woman buys iPhone 6, braves typhoon to give it to singer-idol

SINGAPORE - Many fans would go to great lengths to attract the attention of their idols. But one Singaporean woman even risked travelling in bad weather just to get an iPhone 6 to her idol in Taiwan.

Joyce Chai, 33, caught a flight to the island over the weekend - despite the possibility of being caught in a typhoon - so that singer Issac Dang, 29, could be the first person there to own an iPhone 6.

The accounts assistant said that it was a spontaneous decision to get the phone for the Malaysian, who is based in Taipei.

Dang, who once worked as a graphic designer in Singapore before he was talent-spotted, is known to be an ardent Apple fanatic.

Ms Chai's friend queued up and got the phone - a 64GB iPhone 6 in space grey - on Friday; that night, Ms Chai was on a red-eye flight to Taoyuan airport.

She said: "My friend was in charge of queuing and buying the phone. My role was to take it to Taiwan and pass it to him personally."

Before her trip, she spoke to Dang's manager, who said that the star would probably refuse the gift as it was too expensive.

But the fan's persuasiveness - involving a two-hour session of negotiating between the manager, Dang and Ms Chai - won out.

The catch? Dang would pay for the phone and her airfare.

Ms Chai said she wanted the phone to be a gift, but eventually agreed to her idol's terms.

By 7am on Saturday, she was on her way to meet the star, who recently won the Most Potential New Artiste award at the 13th Global Chinese Music Awards in Malaysia. The awards are organised by seven radio stations in Asia.

But she got more than what she bargained for: The affable singer took her out for a lavish breakfast to thank her.

She said: "I was overwhelmed. He is such a nice guy with no 'attitude'.

"Initially, Issac did ask me not to come because a typhoon was expected, but I was very insistent about getting him the new iPhone."

She also raved about how nice he was at breakfast.

When contacted, Dang, who recorded the theme song for Han Yew Kwang's movie Rubber, said he was touched by Ms Chai's sincerity and thoughtfulness.

He said in Mandarin: "I was very surprised. I was planning to get the phone when I go to Singapore next week. I'm not in a hurry to get it.

"But she told me she had bought it and she wanted to give it to me as a gift."

Dang, who is in the midst of recording his second full album, slated for release in December next year, said he did not want to accept the gift at first because "it's not cheap".

He said: "I'm very scared that my fans spend money. I feel paiseh (Hokkien for embarrassed)."

Nevertheless, he is grateful to his Singapore fans.

He said: "When I arrive or leave Singapore, they will be at the airport. Sometimes, they will also buy some food for me.

"I want them to know that all these little things touch me. There's no need to spend a lot of money."

As for Ms Chai, her initial flight back to Singapore was cancelled due to the typhoon threat, and she was left scrambling to find an alternative. She eventually found a way home by catching the 7pm flight on Saturday.

She said that it was all worth it.

This article was first published on September 21, 2014.
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