Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Jonal Chong

Above: Mr Jonal Chong (left) in an edited photo with Nicole Kidman; shutters remained closed at Orchard Central salon and; a stranded customer.
Singapore hairstylist Jonal Chong, first exposed for editing himself into a photo with Hollywood A-lister Nicole Kidman, has reportedly gone missing.
The 48-year-old could not be found at his condominum unit in Orchard Road. His hair salon at Orchard Central had been repossessed by its landlord as well.
The managing director of the salon first catapulted into the news earlier this year when my paper exposed him for his photoshop tricks.
A large poster of him posing with Nicole Kidman had hung in his salon. Mr Chong claimed that the picture was snapped in 2002 at the premiere of Birth, a 2004 film, in London.
The bilingual paper published a similar picture that showed Nicole Kidman standing beside Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar.
Further research showed that the photo was taken on Aug 7, 2001, outside the Directors' Guild of America's screening auditorium in Los Angeles.
When my paper asked him to explain the similarity between the two premiere photographs, he said: "I don't know... I can't explain it. I don't know why Nicole's head is facing the same direction. I don't know why the background looks similar."
The sudden closure has stranded customers who had bought packages from Jonal Chong Hair Couture, Wanbao said.
Administrative officer Tan Yu Jin told Wanbao that last month, she headed to the hair salon after discovering that it was holding a promotion.
She was convinced by a hairdresser to sign a package worth $500.
With it, she stands to save $20 per haircut and $30 per dye, paying $28 and $98 respectively.
Ms Tan added that a cut and dye at the salon that day only cost her $96.
The report did not mention whether there was a fixed number of cuts and dyes that one was entitled to.
Ms Tan told Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao that she wanted to make another appointment with the salon last Saturday (July 16). Despite repeated attempts, no one picked up her phone calls.
The 38-year-old then decided to head down to the salon and found out that the shop had been shut down.
Pasted on the shutters was a notice saying that landlord had repossessed the shop since Friday.
Ms Tan said: "I had just signed up for the package last month. It is irresponsible of the salon owner to just close his business whenever he feels like it."
Ms Tan got Mr Chong's contact number from the landlord but could not reach him. Wanbao also tried to reach him but discovered that the two telephone numbers have since been disconnected.
When Wanbao went to visit his condominum apartment, a person revealed that Mr Chong had moved out last Friday.
Wanbao understood that Mr Chong had complained before that business was not good at the salon.
The landlord of Orchard Central, Far East Organization, said that they will send gentle reminders if a tenant owes rental. They will also help the tenant to find a solution to pay the rental.
A spokesman for Far East said they were unable to comment on the issue further as it was a private matter.
Wanbao reported earlier this year that CASE had received three complaints about Jonal Chong Hair Couture.
The complainants claimed that they had signed up for expensive packages with the salon on the account that Mr Chong had been Nicole Kidman's hairstylist.
After it was reported that the photo of him and Nicole Kidman was fake, they demanded refunds. In 2009, Mr Chong claimed he styled Nicole Kidman's hair from 2000 to 2005.
Wanbao understood that the three customers had signed packages worth between $2,000 to $4,280.

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