Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley joins Singapore quiz controversy

Mr Muhammad Shalehan was backed by English singersongwriter Tony Hadley who said the SMRT train captain had pronounced “Hadley” correctly

Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley joins Singapore quiz controversy

He called in to give his answers, but was told by the DJ Chris Ho that he had only gotten 13 names correct.

Shalehan received Hadley's response in a video message that backed his claim to the prize.

'To my shock, he replied and even recorded a video endorsing my pronunciation of his name'.

When listeners and Mr Shalehan questioned Gold 905 why his answer was rejected, the station said he had mispronounced Hadley's name and mispronounced names were not considered correct answers.

Singaporeans began bombarding Gold 905's Facebook demanding an explanation on why Muhammad was denied the winnings despite being the first to nail all the names correctly.

Hadley said there may have been a slight accent, "but as far as I'm concerned you said my name correctly, so you should be entitled to whatever the prize was".

Comments on Gold 905's Facebook page were filled with angry netizens who said that the radio station was in the wrong and that the S$10,000 prize rightfully belonged to Shalehan.

But on 6 May, another caller said the exact same answers - and was awarded the $10,000.

Shalehan is in the global spotlight after celebrity Tony Hadley backed his bid to claim a $10,000 prize from radio station Gold 905.

The 14 celebrities are Tony Hadley, Madonna, Maggie Wheeler, Ellen DeGeneres, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, David Bowie, Belinda Carlisle, Julie Andrews, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Meryl Streep, Michael Buble and Rebecca Lim.

At this point, Shalehan had nowhere to turn but Hadley himself and because the musician is in lockdown and not touring, he made a decision to respond to Shalehan and help him because, in his view, he had pronounced his name correctly, just with an accent.

Mr Muhammad Shalehan was backed by English singer-songwriter Tony Hadley, who said the SMRT train captain had pronounced
A Singaporean radio listener was denied $10,000 quiz prize for 'mispronouncing' Tony Hadley's name; then the station caved in to criticism

"Second, once Tony Hadley himself confirmed that the pronunciation was correct, it should have apologised and made Mr Shalehan the rightful victor then". The radio station even released an audio clip comparing the pronunciations of Hadley's name as uttered by Shalehan, the other quiz victor, and Hadley himself.

Despite having loans to repay, and a growing family, Mr Shalehan - a railway worker - was unsure whether to accept the $5,000. And I thought - hold on, this guy is genuine, it's a lot of money, he's done incredibly well to get to that point, ' he said. "I'm after the fairness, the equality, the justice of the game".

What did the radio station say on Friday?

Gold 905 previously doubled down on their view that Muhammad (pic) had mispronounced singer Tony Hadley's name, but reversed their decision after Hadley's defence of Muhammad.

Hi everyone, Thank you for all your feedback and posts.

In the video, 59-year-old Hadley, who is in lockdown at his Buckinghamshire home, says: 'I've listened back to the tape, and as far as I'm concerned, you pronounced my name absolutely correctly'. We have reached out to Mr Shalehan again to convey that we are deeply sorry.

How did Mr Shalehan react?

"I was so shocked", he stated. "I feel honestly happy that justice has been served".

It was Mr Shalehan's father-in-law, a taxi driver, who initially persuaded him to observe the quiz.

"When my wife told him the news, he was literally shouting with happiness", he stated. "We didn't even need speaker phone, we could hear him".

Mr Shalehan has accepted the station's offer and apology - and is grateful to the English pop star on the other side of the world who made it happen. "His video was a great, great game-changer".

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