SINGAPORE - Taxi driver Lee Kee Ann, 50, was driving along Upper Serangoon Road on Wednesday when he spotted a crowd of people gathered at Kovan MRT station from a distance. As he drove closer, he realised that there was a body lying on the road in a police tent.
Little did he expect that what he was alerting us to was in fact a case of two murders. Mr Lee's hotline call resulted in Thursday's cover story on the brutal killings.
He said: "I never expected it was not just one, but two murders in broad daylight, and in a crowded area."
When he saw the body, his first thought was that a road accident had occurred, and he called The New Paper hotline at about 4.30pm. His call allowed our reporter to be the first to arrive at 14J, Hillside Drive, where another body was found.
The loyal reader of the paper, who has been reading it since the paper began 25 years ago, said that he usually buys the paper when he stops at petrol kiosks in between driving passengers.
On Wednesday, he was on his way to change shift when he chanced upon the crime scene. He picked up his mobile phone, in which he has our hotline number saved, and told us what he saw. He has been making calls to the hotline for 10 years, encouraged by the prizes given out.
Asked what he likes best about the paper, he said: "I find the news interesting and the coverage detailed."
He is also a fan of the headlines on the cover.
He said: "When I see the cover, the more I want to read the story!"
|Funeral rites for victims of Kovan double murder
Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: ST, TNP, Facebook, TV screengrabs, Ong Boon Kok)
|Kovan double deaths
Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: ST)
Mr Lee, who is married with three children aged between 11 and 18, reads the paper after work. His children also pick up the paper and read it, especially the entertainment section.
Now, he even tells his fellow taxi drivers to call the paper should they see anything of interest. He said: "I think it's a good way to highlight any safety issues on the road."
Another hotline call on alleged abuse by a childcare teacher resulted in a story published last Sunday.
Following that story, other concerned parents called us to share their own experiences of their children being abused by teachers. One of them, in which a boy was allegedly made to stand with a box covering his head for three hours, was the cover story on Tuesday.
Yet another caller was lorry driver Raimy Rahmat, 37, who called us on Tuesday while on the ECP on his way to pick up cargo. He saw a container truck hit the railing, injuring the driver and a passenger.
He said: "It was the first time I had ever seen such a bad accident happen in front of me, so I called the hotline."
He usually buys the paper from a petrol kiosk in the morning and his favourite section is the sports news.
He added that reading the paper is a big part of his life. He said: "If I miss a day's paper, it feels like my day is not complete."
Both Mr Lee and Mr Raimy will be receiving $100 worth of Manhattan Fish Market dining vouchers and two T-shirts worth $60.
Besides e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, TNP readers can also call our hotline - 1800-733-4455 - or send in their alerts via SMS or MMS to 9477-8899.
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