At 114, she's Singapore's oldest woman

SINGAPORE - At 114, Madam Fadilah Noor Abbe is Singapore's oldest woman.

According to The Straits Times, many believed Ms Teresa Hsu to be the oldest person in Singapore when she died last week aged 113.

But if her birth year of 1897 is to be verified, Madam Fadilah can lay claim to that title. Her age also puts her among the 10 oldest people in the world.

Born in Indonesia, Madam Fadilah has outlived her six siblings as well as her three children.

But her age has taken its toll. Up till two years ago, Madam Fadilah could go out on her own for walks along the void deck.

But she now goes out only when accompanied by a family member, especially after a cataract operation last year and a brush with pneumonia earlier this year.

She lives with a granddaughter, two-great-grandchildren and their father in Bedok.

But it gets lonely for the supercenten-arian - a term reserved for those more than 110 years old.

Her granddaughter says Madam Fadilah sometimes complains she's "tired and sad" that she does not know anyone from her generation who are still around.

But Madam Fadilah says it's up to "God's will" how much longer she can live.

According to the Singapore Book of Records, the oldest person in the Republic's history was Madam Yam Karicho, who died on Aug 30, 1977 at the age of 114.

There are currently more than 700 people in Singapore aged 100 years old and above, according to a Straits Times report on last year's census.

 And the number is expected to rise because of advanced medical care and a higher life expectancy.