Tan Kee Yun
The New Paper
August 28, 2016
For many K-drama fans, getting to see their favourite idols in the flesh would already be a huge treat.
Yesterday evening, five lucky local fans of South Korean actor Kang Ha Neul not only saw him up close, they got to get close to him.
One fan got not just one but two hugs from her idol and another fan had the privilege of having him tie her hair.
The 26-year-old star left another fan "speechless" when he went down on one knee to serenade her with a ballad.
More than 3,000 fans thronged Waterway Point mall's Village Square in Punggol to catch a glimpse of the heart-throb, who was in town to promote his new period drama, Scarlet Heart.
The five fans were picked by event host Danny Yeo prior to Kang's arrival. They caught Yeo's attention by waving their phones enthusiastically in the air.
Ms Emma Muhammad, 22, a receptionist, burst into tears of joy when Kang stood behind her and put his arms around her to hug her.
"My heart was pumping really fast," she told The New Paper on Sunday.
"In my mind, I was going, 'Is this real?' I can't believe I am on stage with him."
After hugging her, Kang then turned Ms Emma to face him and gave her another hug as the audience screamed with delight.
He even took off his jacket before hugging her.
Part-time Korean language student Kassandra Gammon, 22, told TNPS she was "speechless" when Kang knelt down to sing her a song.
"His singing voice is so lovely," she gushed.
Secondary 3 student Candrea Chan, 15, praised Kang for being caring.
"While he was tying my hair, he kept asking me if it was painful," said Candrea.
"I replied him in Korean, 'Not at all.'"
Scarlet Heart, which also stars Lee Joon Gi, actress-singer IU and Baekhyun of boy band EXO, premieres tomorrow, the same time as in South Korea.
The 20-parter, set in the ancient Goryeo dynasty, features Kang as Eighth Prince Wang Wook who falls in love with IU's character. Scarlet Heart will air every Monday and Tuesday at 9pm exclusively on ONE (Singtel TV Ch 513 and 604, StarHub TV Ch 124, 820 and 823).
Out of all the fans who were selected to go on stage, Mr Raiham Nurul received the loudest cheers and laughs - mainly because he was the only thorn among the roses.
As at most Korean idol meet-and-greet sessions, the audience was predominantly female.
Mr Raiham, 18, a junior college student, said he "wasn't embarrassed" when he was given the chance to "gaze intently into Kang's eyes".
He told TNPS unabashedly: "I am a fan of Kang Ha Neul."
He then added: "Although I broke out in laughter, it actually wasn't awkward. I felt like I was looking at an angel."
This article was first published on Aug 28, 2016.
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