Filipino-American Composer Wins Best Original Song at the Oscars

Also: Malaysian daycare teacher molested children, anti-harassment bill introduced in Singapore.

Filipino-American Composer Wins Best Original Song at the Oscars
Credit: @SoundCheckMNL

Some Tuesday ASEAN links:

At yesterday’s Oscars, Robert Lopez became the first Filipino-American to take home the gold statuette. The composer and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, were in Los Angeles to accept the Best Original Song award for Frozen’s “Let it Go.” The animated Disney movie’s theme song and various covers have gone viral on YouTube since being released.

Broadway actress Idina Menzel joined the awards ceremony to sing the hit song live in front of a star-studded audience.

“Lopez has long been known as a songwriter, especially for co-creating the musicals The Book of Mormon and Avenue Q,” wrote The Inquirer. “He received Tony Awards for both. He also won a Grammy Award for The Book of Mormon and a Daytime Emmy Award for The Wonder Pets.”

“Let it Go” edged out “Ordinary Love” by U2, which had won the Golden Globe, as well as Pharell’s “Happy” and Karen Orzolek’s “The Moon Song.”

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Lopez and his wife thanked Filipinos for supporting the Disney picture – which has become the second highest-grossing animated film of all time.

Over in Malaysia, police are investigating disturbing reports of sexual abuse at a childcare center in the Taman Abad district of Johor Bahru.

The center’s so-called “discipline teacher,” an African immigrant in his 40s, is alleged to have molested girls between the ages of four and seven. Additionally, two 14 year old boys with a connection to the center have been accused of raping younger children there.

The center, which was legally registered as a kindergarten, was actually operating as a hostel according to reports. Many children were living on-site while their parents worked in Singapore, returning only on weekends.

An assistant who saw the accused teacher kissing students on the lips filed a police report on February 28. She said that the children were initially scared to report the abuse, for fear of being punished.

The pair of 14-year-olds allegedly told their victims that the teacher would punish them if they refused to perform sex acts.

Finally, in Singapore, parliament has introduced a new bill that seeks to protect victims of cyber-bullying and stalking.

The Protection from Harassment Bill “makes clear that as long as an act is threatening, abusive, insulting and causes distress to its victims, it is harassment, even if it is done online.”

The bill also criminalizes stalking – which will include loitering near a victim’s home or sending frequent text and email messages. Victims will be able to apply for protection orders if they fear being targeted by a stalker, and websites will be forced to issue “alerts” to readers if a victim is unlawfully slandered.

Offenders will face fines of up to $3,900 (S$5,000) and jail time.