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Made In Singapore

14 Feb

I have to admit that I’m a sucker for Internet forums. I don’t hope to glean much information that will change the world from them per se, but I just like to hear what people have to say about this and that. Which is how I chanced upon the S-Pop thread on sgForums (, where netizens were slamming the Channel U programme S-Pop Hurray! for its lack of imagination and its presumptuous nature.

Have you seen it? It’s a music-cum-interview programme that features Singaporean pop stars – past and present – celebrating the wonder that is Singapore pop music, or S-Pop.

But while I applaud its intent and premise – and, yes, I am a fan of Kit Chan and Stefanie Sun – I couldn’t help but give due consideration to a particular argument that kept cropping up on the forum: The lack of Singapore talent.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying artistes like Stefanie, Kit, Tanya Chua, JJ Lin, Eric Moo, Maggie Teng, et al are talent-less. The complaint was the justification of calling these artistes “S-Pop”.

As netizen New Creation wrote: “Almost every SG singer first went to Taiwan to develop their career … It’s hard to justify these singers as S-Pop when they are nurtured professionally in Taiwan and not in Singapore.

“At most we can call these singers Taiwanese singers with Singapore citizenship.”

Quipped another netizen, jc130701: “Apparently, last year’s National Day song doesn’t ring quite true for them, because it would seem that there are plenty of other places they’d rather be.”

Channel News Asia

Badminton: Hidayat Crashes Out Of World Championships

15 Aug

KUALA LUMPUR : Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat was sensationally dumped from the world badminton championships on Wednesday by unseeded Anup Sridhar from India.

Olympic champion Hidayat, who had been seeded No 8 here, clawed his way back into the match after losing the first game, but ultimately had no answer for the lanky Indian, ranked just 41st in the world.

Hidayat seemed sluggish during the first game but showed flares of brilliance towards the end as the pair matched point for point, before the Indian edged home in a 21-14, 24-26, 22-20 thriller.

Hidayat applauded the cheering crowds afterwards but declined to speak to waiting media about the shock loss.

Sridhar said that despite having never beaten the Indonesian star before, and cramping in his left leg towards the end, he was determined to hold on and claim the biggest scalp of his career.

“I knew I had a chance but you never think you can beat someone like that,” said Sridhar, who moves into the third round.

“I was getting a little desperate because I was upset at losing the very close second. I was getting desperate and making too many unforced errors,” said Sridhar, who is yet to win a top tournament and was bundled out of the event last year in the first round.

In the second upset of the day, England’s doubles duo Anthony Clark and Robert Blair, silver medallists at the 2006 worlds, were ousted by unseeded Polish pair Michal Logosz and Robert Mateusiak 21-16, 21-16.

In contrast, world number one Lin Dan of China coasted into the third round, trouncing Hong Kong’s Ng Wei 21-8, 21-10.

Malaysia kept their hopes of a first-ever world title alive with second seed Lee Chong Wei hammering Eric Pang 21-7, 21-11 to also move to the third round.

The Malaysian star looked in fine form with an array of overhead smashes and delicate net shots, all of which left the Dutchman struggling.

Compatriots Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong, the Asian Games and All-England champions, quickly followed Lee’s lead, despatching Roman Spitko and Michael Fuchs of Germany in just 26 minutes.

“This was a good start for us,” Koo said.

Their main rivals, defending champions Fu Haifeng and Cai Yun, had an easy outing against Bulgaria’s Vladimir Metodiev and Stilian Makarski, winning 21-12, 21-10.

Denmark’s Peter Gade, the only European capable of taking on the Asian giants in men’s singles, fought off a ferocious challenge from Hong Kong’s Yan Kit Chan before clinching his 21-18, 25-23 win with a precision overhead smash.

On the women’s side, defending champion Xie Xingfang led the Chinese charge for gold, steamrolling her way into the third round over Ana Moura of Portugal.

It was the world number two’s first outing at Putra Stadium and the twig-thin Xie barely raised a sweat, winning 21-2, 21-7.

Teammate and world number one Zhang Ning was similarly never troubled by Jang Soo Young in her opener, downing the South Korean 21-9, 21-14.

Fourth seed Pi Hongyan, a former Chinese squad member now playing for France, outclassed Canada’s Charmaine Reid 21-13, 21-12, while Asian Games gold medallist Wang Chen of Hong Kong easily downed Singapore’s Li Li 21-13, 21-6.

Results from the third day of the world championships:

Men’s singles:

Park Sung Hwan (KOR) bt Andrew Dabeka (CAN) 21-16, 21-5
Simon Santoso (INA) bt Pablo Abian (ESP) 21-18, 21-15
Lee Hyun Ii (KOR) bt Shoji Sato (JPN) 21-19, 21-15
Kenneth Jonassen (DEN) bt Nicholas Kidd (ENG) 21-14, 21-7
Chen Yu (CHN) bt Bjoern Joppien (GER) 21-15, 21-7
Przemyslaw Wacha (POL) bt Simon Maunoury (FRA) 21-18, 21-10
Anup Sridhar (IND) bt Taufik Hidayat (INA) 21-14, 24-26, 22-20
Ronald Susilo (SIN) bt Richard Vaughan (WAL) 21-17, 21-17

Peter Gade (DEN) bt Kit Yan Chan (HKG) 21-18, 25-23
Sony Dwi Kuncoro (INA) bt Yousuke Nakanishi (JPN) 21-15, 21-16
Lee Chong Wei (MAS) bt Eric Pang (NED) 21-7, 21-11
Muhd Hafiz B Hashim (MAS) bt Scott Evans (IRL) 21-19, 14-21, 21-11
Bao Chunlai (CHN) bt Lee Tsuen Seng (MAS) 21-14, 18-21, 21-18
Dicky Palyama (NED) bt Nabil Lasmari (ALG) 21-18, 14-21, 21-11
Lin Dan (CHN) bt Ng Wei (HKG) 21-8, 21-10
Chen Jin (CHN) bt Muhd Roslin Hashim (MAS) 22-20, 21-11

Women’s singles:

Saina Nehwal (IND) bt Juliane Schenk (GER) 21-16, 21-10
Petya Nedeltcheva (BUL) bt Eva Lee (USA) 21-18, 21-8
Pi Hongyan (FRA) bt Charmaine Reid (CAN) 21-13, 21-12
Wang Chen (HKG) bt Li Li (SIN) 21-13, 21-16
Kaori Mori (JPN) bt Larisa Griga (UKR) 18-21, 21-14, 21-15
Zhang Ning (CHN) bt Jang Soo Young (KOR) 21-9, 21-14
Xu Huaiwen (GER) bt Adriyanti Firdasari (INA) 21-17, 22-20

Tracey Hallam (ENG) bt Kamila Augustyn (POL) 15-21, 21-16, 21-11
Wong Mew Choo (MAS) bt Ekaterina Ananina (RUS) 21-14, 22-20
Xie Xingfang (CHN) bt Ana Moura (POR) 21-2, 21-7
Ella Karachkova (RUS) bt Yao Jie (NED) 22-20, 14-21, 21-17
Tine Rasmussen (DEN) bt Claudia Rivero (PER) 21-5, 21-6
Yip Pui Yin (HKG) bt Rachel Hindley (NZL) 21-10 retired
Zhu Lin (CHN) bt Anna Rice (CAN) 21-18, 21-13

Men’s doubles:

Choong Tan Fook/Lee Wan Wah (MAS) bt Frederic Mawet/Wouter Claes (BEL) in walkover
Lee Jae Jin/Hwang Ji Man (KOR) bt David Lindley/Chris Langridge (ENG) 21-19, 21-18
Jens Eriksen/Martin Lundgaard Hansen (DEN) bt Roelof Dednam/Christoffel Dednam (RSA) 21-12, 21-15
Candra Wijaya/TonyGunawan (INA/USA) bt Glenn Warfe/Ross Smith (AUS) 22-20, 21-9
Michal Logosz/Robert Mateusiak (POL) bt Anthony Clark/Robert Blair (ENG) 21-16, 21-16

Simon Mollyhus/Anders Kristiansen (DEN) bt Albertus Njoto/Yohan Wiratama (HKG x12) 20-22, 21-19, 21-12
Fu Haifeng/Cai Yun (CHN) bt Vladimir Metodiev/Stilian Makarski (BUL) 21-12, 21-10
Tadashi Ohtsuka/Keita Masuda (JPN) bt Howard Bach/Khan Bob Malaythong (USA) 21-15, 21-13
Vitalij Durkin/Alexandr Nikolaenko (RUS) bt Lars Paaske/Jonas Rasmussen (DEN) 30-29, 21-18
Hendra Gunawan/Joko Riyadi (INA) bt Rupesh Kumar/Sanave Thomas (IND) 21-13, 21-14
Shuichi Sakamoto/Shintaro Ikeda (JPN) bt Hui Wai Ho/Alroy Tanama Putra (HKG) 21-14, 22-20

Women’s doubles:

Endang Nursugianti/Rani Mundiasti (INA) bt Carina Mette/Birgit Overzier (GER) 21-15, 14-21, 21-15
Chou Chia Chi/Ku Pei-Ting (TPE) bt Petya Nedeltcheva/Diana Dimova (BUL) 21-6, 21-14
Nicole Grether/Juliane Schenk (GER) bt Eva Llee/Mesinee Mangkalakiri (USA) 21-5, 21-8
Zhang Yawen/Wei Yili (CHN) bt Imogen Bankier/Emma Mason (SCO) 21-15, 21-13
Miyuki Maeda/Satoko Suetsuna (JPN) bt Johanna Persson/Elin Bergblom (SWE) 21-14, 9-21, 21-12

Gao Ling/Huang Sui (CHN) bt Yu Yan Vanessa New/Shinta Mulia Sari (SIN) 21-9, 21-17
Lena Frier Kristiansen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl (DEN) bt Lim Pek Siah/Joanne Quay Swee Ling (MAS) 10-21, 21-13, 21-17
Aki Akao/Tomomi Matsuda (JPN) bt Suzanne Rayappan/Jenny Wallwork (ENG) 21-14, 9-21, 21-12
Kumiko Ogura/Reiko Shiota (JPN) bt Fong Chew Yen/Mooi Hing Yau (MAS)15-21, 21-13, 21-11
Laura Choinet/Elisa Chanteur (FRA) bt Yu Yang/Du Jing (CHN x4) in walkover
Yang Wei/Zhang Jiewen (CHN) bt Alexandra Milon/Florentina Petre (ROM) 21-10, 21-4

Mixed doubles:

Robert Mateusiak/Nadiezda Kostiuczyk (POL) bt Craig Cooper/Renee Flavell (NZL) 21-11, 21-13
Xie Zhongbo/Zhang Yamen (CHN) bt Konstantin Dobrev/Maya Dobreva (BUL) 21-9, 21-6
Lee Yong Dae/Lee Hyo Jung (KOR) bt Chen Hong Ling/Chou Chia Chi (TPE) 21-19, 21-4
He Hanbin/Yu Yang (CHN) bt Keita Masuda/Miyuki Maeda (JPN) 21-17, 21-18
Flandy Limpele/Vita Marissa (INA) bt Robin Middleton/Liza Parker (ENG) 21-11, 19-21, 21-15
Nova Widianto/Lilyana Natsir (INA) bt Nicholas Jinadasa/Samantha Jinadasa (USA) 21-11, 21-11

Muhammad Rijal/Greysia Polii (INA) bt Tan Bin Shen/Ooi Yu Hang (MAS) 21-11, 21-13
Han Sang Hoon/Hwang Yu Mi (KOR) bt Wai Chee Louisa Koon/ Alroy Tanama Putra (HKG) 21-11, 21-17
Xu Chen/Zhao Tingting (CHN) bt Jorrit De Ruitter/Ilse Vaessen (NED) 21-19, 21-10
Anthony Clark/Donna Kellogg (ENG) bt Tan Wee Kiong/Woon Khe Wei (MAS) 21-11, 21-15
Nathan Robertson/Gail Emms (ENG) bt Howard Bach/Eva Lee (USA) 21-15, 21-13
Chan Peng Soon/Haw Chiou Hwee (MAS) bt Ingo Kindervater/Katrin Piotrowski (GER) 14-21, 21-17, 22-20


Channel News Asia

Jacky Cheung Sings, Dances, Acts; But He Is Above All A Father

7 Jun

Jacky Cheung may be known for his mild-mannered ways, but his eldest daughter, Yiu Wah, seems just the opposite – she’s one tough cookie.

When a call was made to Jacky’s home, his maid answered and put the caller on hold – only to have Jacky’s four-year-old daughter pick up the phone suddenly.

“My daddy is having an interview,” she said in fluent English. She was a young girl, but she spoke in a tone that was almost fierce.

“If you know my daddy, I’ll know you!” she concluded, before hanging up.

This was all rather unusual for a celebrity figure. It’s overprotective publicists – not overprotective daughters of pre-school age – who usually run their affairs.

The journalists from the local press present at the group conference call were, frankly, bemused.

But if this is what Jacky’s life is like, then the 43-year-old entertainer – who will be here on Sept 16 to perform in his hit musical, Snow.Wolf.Lake – is one grounded, down-to-earth celebrity.

The second attempt at calling Jacky proved more successful. The voice that said hello sounded friendly and familiar – it was, after all, the same voice that had belted out so many Chinese pop favourites.

“That was my older daughter. The younger one can barely speak,” said Jacky.

Yiu Qing, his second daughter with wife, former actress May Lo, was born earlier this year. The pregnancy had been kept secret from the media.

“Yiu Wah is at that curious stage now. If she’s offended any of you, please forgive her,” he said with a laugh.

Eight years ago, Jacky was in Singapore for the Cantonese version of Snow.Wolf.Lake. Back then, Nnadia Chan played the lead character, Snow, and Singaporean songbird Kit Chan was in the supporting role of Yu Feng.

It will be a different Snow.Wolf.Lake this year. Not only will it be in Mandarin, but Kit has also bowed out of the musical. Taiwanese sweetie pie Evonne Hsu will take over the lead role, while Nnadia will replace Kit.

Said Jacky of the changes: “When we knew Kit was going to leave the cast, it wasn’t just me who was sad.

“Actually, I wasn’t merely sad – I also had a headache deciding who could replace Kit. There were a lot of criteria.

“We had been rehearsing for quite long, so we needed someone who could just jump in and assume the role very quickly. We had to find someone who could hit the notes that Kit could, otherwise there would have to be a lot of changes made in a short time.”

Jacky said he was happy with the choice of Nnadia – “finding her was our luck” – but declined to say which other actresses had also been considered for the role.

Asked how similar the old and new versions of the musical might appear to the audience, he said: “In terms of image and the feel, there are differences. The music is also different.

“It’s been eight years already, so if people are still fixated with the version they first saw, their memory must be very good.”

His Snow.Wolf.Lake commitment aside, Jacky has just finished filming the movie-musical Perhaps Love, directed by Peter Chen and starring Takeshi Kaneshiro and China actress Zhou Xun.

And next on Jacky’s agenda – to his daughter’s delight: An appearance at the opening of Hong Kong’s Disneyland on Sept 12.

“Half of the reason I agreed to perform at Disneyland is my daughter. She’s a little too young to appreciate my films and concerts,” he said.

“Hopefully, there will be discounts on the rides for her!” –

Channel News Asia