- A love story that ends in tragedy
- Woman drug courier nabbed
- Dengue outbreak easing but chikungunya cases going up
THEIR love story is a perfect example of how love has no boundaries. He learnt Korean for her and she was willing to convert to Islam for him.
Singaporean Amron Ayoub, 23, was convinced that he was destined to spend the rest of his life with his 24-year-old girlfriend Jamie Song Jisoo.
Nothing could keep them apart. Not even death.
The couple were killed in a road accident in the early hours of National Day last Friday.
Their close friend Zaid Zainuddin said: "The news was hard to accept since I just spoke to Amron on the phone the day before.
"He was his usual self, sounding very happy. He told me that Jamie's family was here and that he had bought a life-size 'Minion' (cartoon character). We joked a lot and I was looking forward to meeting him this Hari Raya."
The meeting never happened.
On that fateful morning, Amron was taking Jamie, her parents and older brother to the airport where they were to catch a flight to Hong Kong for a holiday.
They were travelling in Amron's family car – a Toyota Wish – on the Central Expressway when a tyre burst and Amron had to stop the car to fix it.
He pulled up at a Chevron area near the Yio Chu Kang exit and all of them got out of the vehicle.
Amron, Jamie and her parents were apparently standing behind the car when a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) hit them, killing Jamie and her parents instantly. Amron suffered multiple injuries and died in hospital.
Jamie's older brother Jihwan, 30, was unhurt as he had been standing by the side of the road. The 34-year-old driver of the MPV was arrested for dangerous driving.
On Saturday, Jihwan, a professional golfer based in China, was accompanied by his younger brother and a Chinese friend at the mortuary.
The Song brothers appeared composed and asked to be left alone to grieve. Amron's family declined to comment when met at their home.
Although Amron's body had been buried last Friday, his family members turned up at the mortuary to meet the Song brothers. The group of about eight people left at noon without claiming the bodies of Jamie and her parents.
Zaid, who visited Amron's family, said his mother was very distraught.
Amron, who had three sisters, was the second child in the family. Like many young men, he had big dreams. He was training to be a pilot in Malaysia, said Zaid, who met him when they were students at Singapore Polytechnic.
Zaid said it was perhaps "destiny" that Amron and his girlfriend died on the same day.
"Although they didn't live together, they were inseparable," he recalled. "Whenever I saw Amron, I would see Jamie. Amron always told me that he was the happiest man in the world after he met Jamie.
"Amron told me that he liked Jamie very much and they had been talking and planning their future together.
"Amron said that he had asked Jamie if she would convert to Islam and she had indicated that she was willing to do so for him. She had also picked up Malay and could speak a little with Amron."
The couple met at a club three years ago.
"At that time, he was recovering from a bad break-up," said Zaid. "It took them a while to be finally together."
He said the couple were remembered fondly for the surprise parties they loved to throw for each other.
"At Jamie's 23rd birthday party last year, Amron recited a long message to her in Korean, which none of us could understand. She was so touched that she broke into tears and replied to him in Korean. It was a very special moment for them." — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
A VIETNAMESE woman was found with more than 4kg of a substance suspected to be the drug "Ice" when she landed at Changi Airport.
Officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and the Central Narcotics Bureau found two slabs of the crystallised substance wrapped in aluminium foil in the 47-year-old's luggage.
They estimate the haul to be worth around S$630,000 (RM1.57mil). If convicted, the woman may face the death penalty.
Preliminary investigations suggest that the drug was intended to be re-exported and not for the Singapore market, said an ICA spokesman.
The ICA reiterated that border security was "critical" to Singapore, and stated that it would continue checks at all checkpoints to prevent smuggling.
"The same methods of concealment used by contraband smugglers may be used by terrorists to smuggle arms and explosives to carry out attacks in Singapore," said the spokesman. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
THE dengue fever epidemic appears to be on the decline, but the spread of another mosquito-borne disease is still going strong.
Close to 500 people have been infected with chikungunya this year – compared with a total of 60 cases in the three years between 2010 and last year.
In the week ended Aug 3, 21 people were infected – 16 in the Bukit Timah area, one in Jalan Papan in the Jurong area and one in Woodlands Industrial Park, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Health.
Although it is not known where the other three people were bitten, none of them had been overseas recently.
More than 85% of this year's cases have occurred in the Bukit Timah and Sungei Kadut/Kranji areas.
Chikungunya was not found in Singapore until 2008, when the first local transmission occurred in Little India. There was a major outbreak that year, with 690 people infected.
The National Environment Agency was able to eradicate the virus and chikungunya is considered non-endemic in Singapore.
Immediate action is taken whenever an imported case is discovered, so the virus does not take root. But it might not remain so, if the current epidemic continues unabated.
Like dengue, chikungunya is spread by the Aedes mosquito, and not from person to person. The two diseases have common symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, rash and joint pain.
Fatality rates are higher with dengue whereas chikungunya is usually debilitating.
The current chikungunya epidemic started in early April and peaked last month, with 45 new cases in one week. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
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