A look back at March 2015: Saying goodbye to Mr Lee
As 2015 comes to a close, The New Paper looks back at the top stories from our pages this year, and offers a glimpse behind the scenes
Few scenes in 2015 will be as memorable as those on March 29.
People around the world tuned in to watch the modified gun carriage bearing Mr Lee Kuan Yew's body as it moved slowly through the streets.
Many will also remember Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his grieving family walking behind the cortège, drenched by an unrelenting downpour.
They were not alone.
With them, thousands of Singaporeans gathered along the route of the procession waving rain-soaked national flags to bid farewell to the country's founding PM.
Mr Lee Kuan Yew died at the age of 91 at Singapore General Hospital on March 23, at 3.18am.
The week following his death was declared a national mourning period.
Queues of mourners paid their respects to the late Mr Lee at the Istana, where he lay in state.
Nearly half a million Singaporeans from all walks of life attended Mr Lee's wake, as well as leaders and dignitaries from other countries.
Another 100,000 people lined the streets during the March 29 funeral procession.
Countless tributes also appeared in newspapers and online, including an award-winning illustration (right) by TNP's artist Cel Gulapa.
Mr Gulapa created a montage that depicted the face of the late founding PM, using icons of Singapore such as the flag, NSman, HDB buildings, greenery and Changi Airport.
Teen blogger jailed for insensitive remarks
As the nation grieved over Mr Lee Kuan Yew's death, a teen blogger made headlines for celebrating his passing.
Amos Yee, 17, was later arrested by police for uploading an expletive-filled eight-minute video, which included insensitive remarks about Christianity. Fifteen people had made police reports against him.
What followed was a trial and appeal. At one point, a stranger, later identified as 49-year-old Neo Gim Huah, slapped the teen outside the State Courts.
Yee was sentenced to jail for a month for intending to wound the religious feelings of Christians, as well as of uploading an obscene image onto his blog.
Neo was jailed three weeks for slapping the teen.
The case also got the international media's attention and sparked protests in Hong Kong to free Yee.
He is now reportedly being investigated for allegedly making another "religiously offensive" remark.
Drama in ITE
It was a month of incidents for the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West.
Early in March, a 21-year-old peeping Tom was nabbed after he was caught entering a female toilet there.
He had posed as a woman by wearing a wig, a cap and a skirt, and was seen peeping into the shower stalls.
Students followed and confronted the man. They later uploaded a video of the confrontation that went viral.
He was arrested for criminal trespass.
Less than a week later, another video of two students fighting in the school's piazza - an open area in the middle of the Choa Chu Kang campus - made its rounds on the Internet.
One of them, 16-year-old Muhammad Zuhairie Adely Zulkifli, attacked the other with a bread knife as fellow students watched and filmed the action.
Zuhairie fled the scene after the attack but was arrested later at his grandmother's home. He was jailed for 18 months and caned.
Father, son charged with murder of man who tried to rob them
Two family members of a Singaporean woman were arrested for the murder of a man who had tried to rob them with a parang in Malaysia.
Madam Guo Shu Lan, 52, and her husband, 57-year-old chef Mo Yi Hong, were accosted by two men outside their house in Negeri Sembilan during the Chinese New Year period.
Mo and his Singaporean son, Wei Qiang, 29, managed to fend off the robbers. One fled, and the father and son bound the other man Chen Wen Bao's hands and feet, while they sought medical attention for their injuries.
Mr Chen died.
Netizens in Singapore and Malaysia blasted the authorities for deciding to charge them with murder, which carries the death penalty.
For Madam Guo, it was an emotional roller coaster until the charges were reduced a few days later and there was no longer a possibility of their going to the gallows.
Said TNP's journalist Ronald Loh, who spoke to Madam Guo after the incident: "We felt we needed to share the family's side of the story because the father and son were facing murder charges for allegedly defending themselves in the midst of an attack.
"We wanted the public and the relevant authorities to understand what happened that day, at least from the family's point of view."
Mo and his son were released on bail in March, after spending 23 days in detention.
No-go to music festival here
PHOTO: THE STAR
The authorities rejected the electronic dance festival from being held in Singapore after six people died at the Malaysia Future Music Festival Asia last year.
The authorities here did so not once but twice, each time rejecting the organiser's attempts to obtain a public entertainment licence.
The reason? Police said it was "because of serious concerns with potential drug abuse at the event".
The tragedy in Malaysia was believed to be caused by drug overdose at that time, though heat stroke was later revealed to be the likely cause.
Despite this, organiser Livescape Singapore continued to sell tickets to the event.
The two-day event was billed as "the region's largest music festival" and was supposed to be held on March 13 and 14.
When news broke of its eventual cancellation, around 15,000 tickets had to be refunded to festival-goers.
Said TNP's entertainment journalist Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman, who covered the story: "It came as a shock as tickets were already on sale and the event was slated to take place the following week.
"Our daily coverage kept our readers in the loop as the fate of the festival remained in limbo for several days."
"It came as a shock as tickets were already on sale and the event was slated to take place the following week. Our daily coverage kept our readers in the loop as the fate of the festival remained in limbo for several days."
- TNP entertainment journalist Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman, on the eventual cancellation of the Future Music Festival Asia