Memories to cherish
Twenty five years on, old friends and new gathered in the The New Paper newsroom to celebrate the launch of a new book, Singapore Raw: 25 Stories From 25 Years of News, Emotion, Wow.
The hardcover book is an 80-page imprint of the Singapore memory - a collection of 25 years' worth of both heartwarming and heartrending stories the newspaper has covered over the years since its launch in 1988.
Some of the newsmakers featured in the book and former staff members were invited to the event, which started at 6pm yesterday.
TNP editor Dominic Nathan opened the event with a short speech thanking the guests, and proceeded to touch on TNP's recent wins at the Society for News Design and the relaunch of the Football Kaki smartphone app, which marks the paper's move into the digital era.
Mr Dave Ang, the book's editor, then took the audience through the some of its highlights, including insights into TNP-style journalism like first-person reporting and initiatives like the Big Walk and New Face contest.
One newsmaker, 23-year-old Miss Ng Poh Peng, has "been with TNP" since she was eight months old.
TNP has been with Miss Ng, affectionately dubbed "Baby Poh Peng" by the newspaper in 1991, every step of the way.
Although she does not remember much of her interactions with TNP in her younger days, Miss Ng is grateful to the publication.
"Congratulations to TNP on the book launch, I'm happy they remembered me," said a soft-spoken Miss Ng, who suffers from congenital ichthyosis, a rare skin disorder.
Her younger sister, Miss Ng Qing Wei, 18, shared her sentiment.
"TNP has improved my sister's life greatly... it has had a great impact on her life."
The family said they would not be here today without the help of TNP, whose stories raised awareness of her plight and inspired readers to donate more than $290,000, half of which the family re-donated to charity.
Indeed, the newspaper has played a significant role in the lives of many.
Said Mr Lin Dilun, 29: "I've been reading TNP since I was 13, for 16 years! I've seen it grow, seen it change."
In 2010, Mr Lin stepped forward to donate one of his kidneys to then four-year-old Bryan Liu after reading a TNP report on the boy who was born with one kidney, which failed by the time he was two.
"I never expected it to play such a big role in my life," said Mr Lin.
For some, TNP is more than just a 70-cent newspaper - it is family.
Ms Cynthia Lim, 34, whose cancer-stricken daughter's story TNP covered in June 2009, is thankful to the paper for its efforts to help raise awareness of the little girl's plight.
"I'm always thankful to TNP for the news coverage... it didn't just help raise funds, it brought strangers into my life, strangers who are now my very precious friends," said Ms Lim.
Her daughter, Charmaine Lim, died in Oct 2011 despite the special alternative treatment she received.
On their hopes for TNP in the future, most of the guests expressed their wishes for the paper to continue as it has always been.
Bryan's father, 51-year-old Mr Victor Liu, said: "Keep up the good work, whatever you do just keep on reporting the news."
Mrs Eng Teal, a Lions Club of Singapore (City) member in her 60s, agrees.
"I hope that TNP will continue covering heartwarming stories of inspiring individuals in Singapore," said Mrs Teal. She was one of the members who took care of Ms Maria Lee Kwai How, who suffered a disfiguring genetic disorder from birth until her death in 1994.
Founding editor of TNP, Mr Peter Lim, 75, had this to say: "25 years ago, we had a tough time convincing the board of directors to call TNP The New Paper. One of the valid questions raised by the board was, 'How do you expect your paper to always be new?' Well, TNP is very new, very fresh, and even better 25 years later. I wish I was on the team now!"
Here's to the next 25 years.
Singapore Raw: 25 Stories From 25 Years Of News, Emotion, Wow chronicles some of the paper's most memorable stories over the years.
Stories like the Wilson Raj "kelong saga", the shocking murder of little Huang Na, the infamous sex exploits of Annabel Chong, as well as the heroic story of Heng Yeow Peow, the selfless foreman in the Nicoll Highway collapse, are retold and updated.
The book also features TNP's raw brand of journalism, where reporters go undercover and news is rendered in bold, visual brushstrokes in award-winning infographics.
The 80-page, hardcover book is out in all major bookstores at $25 (including GST).