Archive | June, 2010

Pelakon Winter Sonata (Park Yong-Ha) Bunuh Diri

30 Jun

Ditulis oleh Rosli Manah

Pelakon popular Korea Selatan yang membintangi drama bersiri popular Winter Sonata, Park Yong -ha ditemui mati di kediamannya dengan petunjuk mengatakan dia membunuh diri, hari ini.

Agensi berita Yonhap melaporkan, pihak polis memberitahu Park Yong-ha, 33, didapati menggantung diri di kediamannya di Seoul.

Park didapati menggantungkan diri menggunakan wayar pengecas bateri telefon bimbit. Bagaimanapun pihak polis masih menyiasat punca kematian pelakon kacak itu.

Park mula terkenal pada lewat tahun 1990-an dan semakin dikenali ramai termasuk di Malaysia apabila drama Winter Sonata mendapat sambutan menggalakkan di beberapa negara termasuk Malaysia.

Winter Sonata mencetuskan fenomena terhadap kegilaan penonton terhadap drama bersiri dari negara itu.

Dia yang juga seorang penyanyi pernah mengadakan konsert besar di Korea dan Jepun. Park mempunyai ramai peminat wanita termasuk golongan orang kenamaan.

Yonhap melaporkan, tiada nota bunuh diri ditemui tetapi pihak polis mengatakan Park ada menghantar pesanan ringkas meminta maaf kepada ayahnya yang sedang  sakit kerana menghidap kanser perut sebelum itu.

Ada juga sumber mengatakan aktor itu seorang yang rajin merawat bapanya dan dia juga mengambil pil tidur kerana menghidap insomnia.


Mangga Online

I Didn't Dare To Look At Myself

30 Jun

I didn’t dare to look at myself
Actress Ong Ai Leng takes days to get used to new look for role of sick woman
By Kwok Kar Peng
June 30, 2010

THE reflection in the mirror was so ghastly that actress Ong Ai Leng didn’t dare to look.

Gone were the pretty face and long smooth tresses worthy of a shampoo advertisement.

Instead, the 32-year-old had bald patches on her head and looked deathly pale.

‘It took me two days of filming to finally accept the new look,’ Ong told The New Paper in a recent interview.

So dramatically different was her new image as a seriously ill patient for the upcoming Channel 8 police drama Unriddle that even her colleagues didn’t recognise her at first.

In the series, which is still in production, Ong stars as Li Shan, the girlfriend of a gangster played by Zheng Geping. The show, which also stars Chen Liping and Rui En as the cops, will debut in August.

For her role, Ong had on light make-up and exaggerated dark rings under her eyes.


But it was the wig with glaring bald patches that shocked most people .

Ong added that wearing the wig for long hours gave her headaches.

She said: ‘I even asked the drama’s executive producer if Li Shan has any scenes looking beautiful, and he said no.

‘The character is sickly right from the start. There aren’t even flashbacks of her looking healthy.’

Despite that, Ong, a former model, admitted she’s quite happy to sink her teeth into this new role, which is the first time she has ‘uglified’ herself.

Director boyfriend says after seeing photo of her in new role: ‘Your eyes look too lively for a sick person’

‘I think it’ll be a real challenge to play an ugly character like the one Karen Mok played in the 1996 Stephen Chow movie God of Cookery,’ she said.

Mok’s character was uncouth, had huge buckteeth and a scar above one eye.

Ong said her scenes were filmed behind closed doors in hospitals and nursing homes, away from the public.

She also didn’t have many lines.

Ong said: ‘It was very uncomfortable. I needed to make my eyes look listless so I kept telling myself that I was very tired and weak.

‘I would feel very down at the end of the day. Even though I didn’t have much action during filming, I felt very tired.’

The Malaysian-born actress said some colleagues were shocked when they saw her at Caldecott Hill before she left for filming.

Even Ong’s co-star, Zheng, 46, and the cameraman were taken aback the first time they saw her.

Said Zheng: ‘Before we started filming, I saw a photo of her character which was to be used by the policemen in the drama. She looked very pretty there.

Like Darth Vader

‘Then on the first day of filming, I was shocked to see her in her wig. She looked like a totally different person, like Darth Vader from Star Wars when he took off his helmet.’

Another co-star, Andie Chen, 25, added: ‘Some places where we filmed were old and dark. When I walked past a corner and saw her sitting quietly there in her wig, with the lights shining from behind her, I was truly spooked.’

The film crew even advised Ong to stay unseen during the lunch break in case her image frightened the public.

Ong took photos of herself with her mobile phone and sent them to her family members. She also told her boyfriend, who lives in Canada, to look at photos of her character published online .

‘I told him that I missed him so much that I looked like that,’ she joked.

‘But he replied that my eyes appeared too lively for an ill person.’

The couple met on the job when Ong was filming the drama Addicted To Love in Kuala Lumpur in 2008. The drama was a joint collaboration between Media-Corp and Malaysia’s ntv7.

Ong played one of the leading roles and he was the director.

The actress declined to reveal more about her boyfriend, except that he’s in his 40s, was born in Hong Kong and later migrated to Canada. He now directs advertisements there.

She said in a 2008 interview with Malaysian newspaper The Sun that his name is Kenne Yam.

Romance bloomed only after filming had wrapped, she said in the interview.

The couple keep in touch via Skype every day.

When she isn’t busy filming Unriddle, they chat online for a few hours in the morning and a few hours again at night.

While she’s now a homebody who spends her nights chatting with her boyfriend, watching movies and replying to her e-mails, things were quite different two years ago.

Ong said she went out with her three girlfriends every night.

‘I named us HBO, which stood for High By Ourselves. We were high without the influence of alcohol or attention from men,’ she recalled happily.

‘We made a point to dress up every time we met. It was very fun. We didn’t care how people saw us and we never fought.’

In that one year, the girls, one of them MediaCorp actress Apple Hong, were out every night either partying, dining or watching movies.

The other two are a fashion stylist and a spa owner.

Ong added she also did a lot of shopping during that period.

Shoe collection

‘I’m usually very thrifty but that year, I allowed myself to spend and live a different lifestyle,’ she said.

She had around 40 pairs of shoes, some of which cost about $1,000 each.

Said the actress: ‘That was the peak of my singlehood. I saw, experienced and learnt a lot. I travelled to Europe for the first time with my girlfriends.

‘We went to many fashion shows during the London Fashion Week and partied at members-only clubs. I also met Hollywood actor Cuba Gooding Jr there.’

When asked why those days ended, she replied with a smile: ‘Pak tor (Cantonese for going on dates) lor. Things changed, and my girlfriends understood. We have passed that partying phase and everyone has found their focus.’

Her time spent in Kuala Lumpur filming the drama Addicted To Love also changed her. While she still enjoys looking at branded products, she doesn’t buy them any more.

She said: ‘I was posted to KL right after I returned from Europe and I experienced a different kind of a lifestyle. Life there is simpler.

‘The people there don’t look at what you wear or what bag you carry. I like that feeling and it pulled me back to who I am.’


The NewPaper

Pranks, Jokes Draw The Crowd

30 Jun

Pranks, jokes draw the crowd
More listeners tune in to The Married Men show on 91.3FM
By Cheryl Lim
June 30, 2010

LIGHT-HEARTED content is the secret to their success.


The banter among DJs Rod Monteiro, 43, Daniel Hutchinson, 26, and Jillian Lim, 20, on radio show The Married Men is so infectious that Singaporeans are tuning in in droves.

91.3FM’s morning show airs daily from Monday to Friday, 6am to 10am.

A survey by research company AC Nielsen over a period of eight weeks showed that listenership of the show has increased 64 per cent – from 73,000 last year to 120,000 this year.

The station also improved its standings overall.

91.3FM is now the third most popular station here.

At the top of the class is Class 95, which drew a listenership – of those 15 and above in the time belt of between 6am and midnight – of 790,000 this year.

But 91.3FM had the highest increase – listenership grew from 173,000 to 258,000.

The results have bumped the station from No. 4 to No. 3.

In the 25 to 44 age demographic, 91.3FM came in second, with a listenership of 120,000. Class 95 topped this category with 443,000 listeners.

Monteiro, 43, attributed his show’s popularity to its creative ‘content that delivers what the audience wants’.

He also believes it’s because The Married Men team has the support of a dedicated writer, Caroline Mowe, 36, and a producer, Shaun Antonio, 23.

One of the show’s biggest draws, he said, is its signature ‘Kena Pluck’ segment where presenters call up unsuspecting Singaporeans and play pranks on them.

He pointed out that numerous sound clips of previous pranks have been uploaded to video-sharing site YouTube.

One of the most memorable pranks was on a boy waiting for his national service enlistment.

The DJ pretended to be a sergeant and accused the boy of ignoring his enlistment date. He even ordered the boy to perform push-ups on the spot.

The terrified boy obeyed and did the push-ups in his office.

The prank’s clip attracted more than 45,900 views online.


Monteiro said: ‘We’re driven by the desire to wake Singapore up with a smile, so you’d all start your day with a laugh.’

Monteiro said the team brainstorms about 10 hours a day, bouncing ideas off each other.

Nothing is spared as potential fodder for the programme – from escaped detainee Mas Selamat, disgraced local pageant queen Ris Low to American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert.

‘Even watching a movie is a different experience for us. Any punchline or any part of the script can be an idea for the show,’ Hutch said.

Other pranks are inspired by the mundane of ‘everyday life’ or drawn from their life experiences.

Monteiro said: ‘The NS prank on the recruit, for instance, was inspired by our own NS days.

‘I was a sergeant and Shaun was a commando.’


The NewPaper

Veteran CNN Interviewer Larry King To Quit

30 Jun

LOS ANGELES – Veteran CNN broadcaster Larry King announced his decision to step down from his long-running show Tuesday, ending a record-breaking career that saw him conduct more than 40,000 interviews.

King, 76, said in a statement his signature show “Larry King Live” would go off the air in the autumn after 25 years, allowing him to find “more time for my wife and I to get to the kids’ little league games.”

King’s marriage to seventh wife Shawn Southwick recently appeared to be on the rocks, with the wiry anchorman filing for divorce in April. The couple has since reconciled, according to reports.

King, one of the most recognizable figures on US television, said he still plans to work for CNN after the end of his nightly show.

“I’ll still be a part of the CNN family, hosting several Larry King specials on major national and international subjects,” he said.

The interviewer said he was proud of the fact that his show had recently entered the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest running show with the same host in the same time slot.

“With this chapter closing I’m looking forward to the future and what my next chapter will bring, but for now it’s time to hang up my nightly suspenders,” he said, referring to his trademark attire.

Since starting his career in Florida as a local radio journalist and interviewer in the 1950s, King has conducted more than 40,000 interviewers with an array of personalities and celebrities which has included exclusives with every US president since Gerald Ford.

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

Korean Star Park Yong-Ha Found Dead In Apparent Suicide

30 Jun

SEOUL – A South Korean actor and singer who rode the wave of Korean pop culture in Asia was found dead at his home in Seoul Wednesday in an apparent suicide, police said.

Park Yong-Ha, 33, was found in his room by his mother after he apparently hanged himself with an electrical cord, KBS TV said.

Police said it appeared to be a suicide but declined to comment on whether Park had left any note.

Park spent his last moments Tuesday night with his father, who is suffering from cancer, KBS said.

He reportedly massaged his father for a long while before leaving with the words: “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”

Park shot to fame through the 2002 hit TV drama series “Winter Sonata” and won fans in Japan and other Asian countries. He also released albums as a singer.

He had been chosen for the leading role in a Korean television drama, a remake of the popular 1996 Hong Kong film, “Comrades, Almost a Love Story”. Shooting was set to begin in July.

If confirmed, Park would be the latest of a number of entertainers to kill themselves. They include top movie actress Lee Eun-Joo who committed suicide in 2005 and Choi Jin-Sil who died in 2008.

Suicide is the highest cause of death among those in their twenties and thirties in South Korea, which in 2007 had the highest suicide rate among members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The health ministry says 23.9 in every 100,000 South Koreans committed suicide in 2007, compared with 19.4 in Japan, 16.7 in Finland, 14.2 in France and 14.0 in Switzerland.

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

Dottie Tak Hina Orang Gemuk

29 Jun

Ditulis oleh Nonie

Pembikinannya bukanlah untuk merendah-rendahkan mereka, jauh sekali menjadikan mereka sebagai bahan ketawa. Siapa kata orang bertubuh gempal tidak boleh berjaya? Itulah yang akan diperlihatkan dalam drama terbaru Astro Megadrama, Dottie. Apa yang penting adalah keyakinan untuk membuktikan tubuh badan bukanlah penghalang untuk berjaya.

“Dottie tak mempermainkan kekurangan orang lain. Sebaliknya kami jadikan Dottie sebagai inspirasi untuk mereka yang berbadan besar untuk tonjolkan keyakinan dan ukuran badan bukanlah penentu kejayaan. Di samping itu juga, mereka yang lain boleh dalami perasaan mereka yang bertubuh gempal agar tidak mudah mengeluarkan perkataan yang menyinggung perasaan golongan ini.

“Kami tidak sekali-kali menjadikan mereka sebagai bahan ketawa. Pastinya mereka yang bertubuh gempal akan punyai keyakinan diri yang lebih tinggi selepas menonton Dottie kerana kami mempertaruhkan watak yang wujud dalam masyarakat tetapi kadang kala kurang diberi perhatian kerana rupa paras dan fizikal. Kami cuba berikan motivasi menerusi Dottie dan pastinya penonton akan terpikat dengan perwatakannya yang sangat comel,” ujar Ghaz Abu Bakar selaku pengarah pertama drama Dottie.

Dottie Cermin Nor Syuhaida

Berlinang air mata anak kelahiran Taiping ini tika menceritakan pengalamannya dikutuk kerana penampilan yang bertubuh gempal. Dottie adalah pengalaman pertamanya dan Nor Syuhaida merasakan peluang yang bergolek bersesuaian dengan karekter dirinya.

“Dottie seolah-olah cermin kepada diri saya. Saya nak buktikan orang berbadan besar juga boleh berjaya lebih-lebih lagi dalam industri hiburan. Satu peluang yang tak disangka-sangka datang apabila saya mendapat tahu ada ujibakat untuk mencari pelakon wanita yang chubby kerana selalunya mereka inginkan yang berpesonaliti menarik. Saya datang dari Taiping untuk mencuba dan syukur berjaya.

“Dalam kehidupan saya sendiri, memang selalu kena kutuk. Kalau ke butik membeli pakaian, selalunya jurujual akan pandang sinis kepada saya lebih-lebih lagi bila saya ingin mencuba pakaian yang dikatakan tidak sesuai dengan siza badan saya. Kawan-kawan juga panggil saya SG untuk Syuhaida Gemuk. Kadang kadang level confident kita sudah tinggi, tapi bila orang selalu ketawakan dan kutuk, serta merta saya jadi lemah semangat,” ujarnya yang cukup mudah tersentuh menceritakan pengalaman peribadinya menjadi remaja gempal.

Dottie mengisahkan seorang gadis comel yang berkeyakinan tinggi mengejar impian dan cita-cita menjadi hos rancangan TV. Dottie cuba mengikis tanggapan stereotaip masyarakat yang sering berpendapat bahawa bentuk fizikal menjadi sandaran kejayaan seseorang individu. Demi mengejar cita-citanya, Dottie ketepikan perasaan malu dan sentiasa bersabar untuk mengejar impiannya. Saksikan Dottie bermula 5 Julai 2010, jam 10.00 malam hanya di Astro Ria.



Mangga Online

Toleransi Kunci Kejayaan Aizdean Di Jepun

29 Jun

Ditulis oleh Rosli Manah

Siapa yang kenal dengan nama Aizdean di sini? Tak ada bukan. Bagi kita pemilik nama itu bukan sesiapa kerana tiada apa yang dilakukan di negara ini.

Tapi kalau  Aizdean keluar bersiar-siar di kota metropolitan Tokyo, Jepun tanpa memakai penutup mulut dan topi, dia tidak dapat melakukan aktiviti harian seperti membeli-belah sebaliknya harus melayan peminat.

Aizdean atau nama sebenarnya Muhammad Aizuddin Anwar ialah seorang pelajar dari Malaysia yang dihantar menuntut di Jepun lapan tahun lalu. Sambil belajar, dia mencari peluang mendekati orang yang terlibat dalam industri muzik di sana.

Berkat usahanya dan toleransinya dengan orang di sana, kini Aizdean sudah bergelar penyanyi pop Jepun apabila syarikat rakaman Hudson Music Entertainment  mengedarkan album penuhnya berjudul Hadiah: The First Step sejak Mac lalu.

Syarikat tersebut menaruh kepercayaan memasarkan album itu setelah single I Need You Baby dan Don’t Go Away mendapat tempat di hati peminat apabila diketengahkan tahun lalu.

“Bukan mudah mendapat tempat di negara orang saya kena bertoleransi dengan mereka dan memahami budaya mereka juga. Malah semasa awal kemunculan, saya tidak diperkenalkan sebagai seorang penyanyi dari luar Jepun.

“Agaknya kerana mata saya sepet ada yang beranggapan saya sebagai orang Jepun. Sekarang barulah peminat tahu saya berasal dari Malaysia. Alhamdulillah mereka tetap menerima saya walaupun tahu saya bukan orang sana,” katanya semasa ditemui ketika pulang bercuti ke Malaysia sejak Isnin lalu.

Sekarang Aizdean sudah mula mencipta nama di Jepun. Dia juga menjadikan kerja nyanyian sebagai pekerjaan utama dan menetap di Jepun setelah tamat belajar. Dia juga bekerja dalam bidang yang pelajarinya di sana dengan sebuah syarikat.

“Saya rasa inilah masa yang sesuai untuk saya memberi tumpuan kepada bidang muzik, sebab itu saya tidak mahu tangguh lagi apabila mendapat tawaran daripada syarikat Hudsun Music,” kata Aizdean yang kini sudah mencecah usia 27 tahun.

Menerusi album pertama, Aizdean turut merakam sebuah lagu dalam bahasa Inggeris I Need You Baby A Cry Out of The Soul. I bertujuan memasarkan jenama Aizden ke Eropah dan Amerika kerana syarikat mempunyai rangkaian di sana.

Lagu-lagu lain yang dimuatlah ialah Alright, Don’t Go Away, Music, Yell- Won’t Let You Go, I Need You Baby, My Hero, Everything For You, Arigato dan One.

“Saya belum mencipta lagu untuk album ini tapi saya menulis sembilan lirik daripada 11 buah lagu yang dimuatkan dalam album sulung ini,” katanya.

Cari tapak di Malaysia

Setelah usahanya menghasilkan album di Jepun berjaya, Aizdean juga sedang berusaha untuk memanjangkan kerjaya seni di Malaysia. Dia tidak mahu dikatakan mengutamakan peminat muzik luar sahaja sebaliknya mahu dikenali di negara sendiri.

“Kontrak saya dengan Hudson Music hanya untuk album di sana sahaja. Saya tiada sebarang masalah untuk bernaung di bawah bumbung mana-mana syarikat rakaman di sini.

“Tapi kalau boleh, biarlah wujud kerjasama di antara kedua-dua syarikat (sekiranya dapat tawaran di Malaysia) kerana saya mahu membina jambatan di antara Malaysia dan Jepun melalui muzik saya.

“Kalau boleh saya mahu menjadi duta kecil dalam usaha menjalinkan kerjasama itu. Kalau ada kerjasama itu mungkin juga album yang saya rakam dalam bahasa Jepun boleh dipasarkan di sini,” ujarnya kepada Mangga Online.

Keluarga tak tahu Aizdean jadi artis

Aizdean sebenarnya tidak memberitahu keluarganya yang dia sudah bergelar artis di Jepun. Dia hanya memaklumkan kepada kakak dan adiknya sahaja pasal perkara itu.

“Semasa saya pulang semalam (Isnin) barulah saya memberitahu mereka. Ibu dan bapa saya terkejut apabila mengetahui pasal album yang saya hasilkan tapi mereka tetap  memberi sokongan kepada saya,” jelas anak bujang itu lagi.

Keluarga memang tahu minatnya dalam muzik kerana pernah menyertai kumpulan nasyid semasa bersekolah, tapi mereka tidak menyangka yang dia nekad menjadi artis dan menghasilkan album sambil bekerja di Jepun.

“Semasa pulang ke Malaysia dua tahun lalu saya tidak memberi tahu yang saya menyanyi di kelab, live house, hotel, pasaraya dan lain-lain tempat. Sekarang baru saya memberitahu mereka kerana saya sudah menjadi artis secara profesional,” katanya lagi.












Mangga Online

Don't Forget The Right Underwear

29 Jun

Don’t forget the right underwear
Celeb contestants have tough time on Don’t Forget The Lyrics show
By Kwok Kar Peng
June 29, 2010

THE audience was having a good laugh but onstage, the three comedians were not having such a swell time.


Guo Liang had a throbbing headache.

Michelle Chong was so nervous she said she could feel herself perspiring.

And Dennis Chew forgot to wear the right underwear.

The artistes were at the recording of ongoing Channel 8 game show Don’t Forget The Lyrics! – All Stars.

Based on the popular US game show, contestants have to sing along to a karaoke machine. Halfway through the song, the lyrics are removed and contestants must fill in the correct lyrics on their own.

But during the recording of this special episode, which The New Paper attended, the contestants were local artistes competing to raise money for charity.

And there was an added twist – the TV hosts had to participate by doing impersonations of veteran Taiwanese singers.

Chong impersonated Tsai Chin, Chew was Fong Fei-Fei and Guo was Fei Yu-Ching.

This particular episode will air tomorrow at 8pm on Channel 8.

(We are not party-poopers so we’re not revealing what songs they sang and how much they won.)

Chong and Guo were indeed the highlights, their impersonations uncanny and hilarious, thanks to make-up and some sticky tape.

But Guo had to suffer for his art and to an extent, his make-up. To mimic Fei’s long slanted eyes, he had to tape the ends of his eyes upwards.

‘It’s very uncomfortable,’ the 42-year-old lamented after having been in character for six hours.

‘Blood rushed to my eyes and I felt giddy. It has definitely affected my thinking too.’

But the China-born host was not the only one suffering throughout the night.

Chong, 32, also had a stressful night. She sang off-key several times and even stopped mid-way through a song and asked for a retake.

Fellow contestant Chew and host Mark Lee didn’t try to hide their amusement. Chew almost fell off his chair laughing while Lee called it ‘a torture’ to hear her sing.

Chong said self-effacingly: ‘I really can’t sing. I was quite apprehensive about taking part in this show because I’ve never sung in public before this.

‘I got more comfortable with the idea when the production crew told me that I’d be in character. But then when I knew that I’ll be impersonating such an acclaimed singer, I felt even greater pressure.’

Even though she couldn’t sing like Tsai, she certainly looked the part.

Her short hair was done up like the chanteuse’s signature bouffant hairdo, her lips were drawn thicker and a ‘mole’ was dotted under her left eye.

All she needed to do was pout and lower her eyelids and it was almost as if Tsai herself was on stage.

Chew seemed to have better luck being in character compared to the others.

Furthermore, he had an edge. The 37-year-old released his solo music album in 2005.

He had one problem though.

‘Usually when I’m impersonating a woman, I wear more restrictive underwear. But I forgot to today.’

The NewPaper

T-Shirts Suit Kym To A T

29 Jun

Big spender or penny-pincher? Stars speak their mind on money matters
T-shirts suit Kym to a T
By Cheryl Lim
June 29, 2010

LOCAL actress-host Kym Ng is frequently seen on screen in glamorous gowns and dresses.

In real life, however, this casual dresser’s preferred outfit is a T-shirt, a pair of shorts and slippers.

Indeed, branded T-shirts are her biggest shopping weakness.

At any time, she has a closet full of them, many from brands like Japanese designer labels Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons, both of which are available at Club 21 here, French brand Agnes B and Hong Kong denim and casual wear label Tough Jeans.

Ng told The New Paper: ‘I have about 50 T-shirts at any time. I buy them whenever I see one I like.’

Of course, she’s had more.

Ng said: ‘I do spring-cleaning of the house once a year, and I give away many of the old T-shirts to my nieces, fans and to the Salvation Army.’

Ng keeps in touch with a regular core group of fans and sometimes meets them during events.

She spends an average of $100 on each T-shirt.

The most pricey one she has cost almost $200, Ng said.

She added that she won’t spend more than $200 on a T-shirt.

She buys them mostly in her favourite colours: pink, red and other bright colours – ‘except orange, which I don’t like’ – and black.

‘I also like white, but it’s not a convenient colour to wear.

Laksa stains

‘It shows laksa stains and bra padding when I wear a thick padded bra,’ she said, with a loud guffaw.

The actress, who is famously secretive about her age and is said to be in her late 30s, said her taste in T-shirt colours has changed over the years – from dark, neutral or sombre colours to bright and cheerful ones.

Pointing to the Tough Jeans neon yellow T-shirt she was wearing, with a burger on the front, she said: ‘When I was younger, for example, I would never wear this. I’d have thought this design was so childish.

‘It’s always like that. When you’re young, you want to look old. When you’re older, all you want is to look young.’

The gradual switch to eye-popping and attention-grabbing colours is also the result of being more comfortable in her own skin as she ages, Ng revealed.

‘I used to be shy and reserved when I was younger. Now, I’m more relaxed and confident, and it’s reflected in my dressing.’

What she won’t wear

But Kym, who got married in October last year, draws the line at wearing matching couple T-shirts with her husband.

‘It (the idea) is quite cute…but it’s not for me,’ Ng said with a smile.

Does he object to her spending on designer T-shirts?

‘Object to what? I’m spending my own money! Not his. I’m a working woman,’ retorted Ng with another boisterous laugh.

‘That’s why women should continue working – so no one can tell you how much you should spend on what you like.’

The only one who has criticised her is her brother.

She explained: ‘He buys his own T-shirts at three pieces for $12 at the market, so he thinks I’m crazy to spend over $100 on a T-shirt.’


The NewPaper


29 Jun

Taiwan singer A-mei’s plunging neckline at Saturday’s Golden Melody Awards prompts host to ask:
By Tan Kee Yun
June 29, 2010

DID A-mei’s jaw-dropping, cleavage-baring black number upstage her own hat-trick of trophies?

At the 21st Golden Melody Awards on Saturday, the 37-year-old Taiwanese aboriginal singer’s choice of outfit created a stir among the audience and her industry peers.

Her daring outfit proved to be such a head-turner that veteran mainland Chinese songbird Na Ying shot A-mei this question on stage: ‘Before I present the award, can I ask you something? Are your breasts real?’

Na Ying was presenting the Best Mandarin Female Singer Award along with Hong Kong celebrity Eason Chan.

Laughter exploded all around as the cameras panned to show A-mei nodding furiously.

Despite the fixation over her vital assets, by the end of the five-hour-long awards ceremony, A-mei was the undisputed queen of the night.

She swept three of the biggest accolades – Best Mandarin Album, Best Mandarin Female Singer and Song of the Year – at the grand ceremony held at the Taipei Arena.

Musicians who worked with her on her much-lauded album Amit were also justly rewarded, bagging Best Lyricist, Best Album Producer and Best Music Arrangement honours.

The annual Golden Melody Awards – celebrating the best in Mandopop – saw the attendance of some of the brightest music stars in the region.

They included Taiwanese rockers Jam Hsiao and Mavis Fan, sassy Hong Kong singer-actress Karen Mok, and Singapore’s very own representatives, Tanya Chua and JJ Lin.

Chua and Lin, unfortunately, went home empty-handed.

A-mei, whose real name is Chang Hui-Mei, dominated the event.

From the get-go, the powerhouse vocalist didn’t hide her ambitions to win big this year.

Dressed to win

Before the ceremony, she strutted down the red carpet, decked out in a majestic gold cloak and glittering dress; her chic white wig looking like a jewelled crown.

Early in the night, while on stage to receive the Best Lyricist Award on behalf of Hong Konger Albert Lam, the singer said: ‘I’m up here to practise first, to calm my nerves.

‘Hopefully, I can come up again later!’

And boy, did she. Not once or twice, but five times.

Adi-Zai, who produced A-mei’s album Amit, invited her to join him for his moment of glory.

He told the audience with a grin: ‘There is, in fact, another producer for this album, but somehow, her name has been mistakenly left out during the nomination.

‘Without her, Amit wouldn’t have been injected with so much passion and fire. A-mei, I have to share this with you.’

A-mei managed to hold back her tears till the point presenter Na finally handed her the award for Best Mandarin Female Singer.

Sobbing uncontrollably, she said: ‘It’s so hard to get this…for the last eight years, my mum has been asking me, why are you always seated among the audience clapping for others?’

She last won the award in 2002.

‘I’m so glad I believed in perseverance.’

The ceremony escaped turning into a laborious affair, thanks to the two hosts of the evening, TV personalities Dee Hsu and Harlem Yu, who kept the mood upbeat and light-hearted.

Displaying their versatility, the pair sang, danced and even cracked politically incorrect jokes.

Midway through a hip-hop medley, Hsu poked fun at the nominees.

‘David Tao, although you’re always drunk, you’re a great songwriter,’ she cooed, taking a jibe at Tao’s infamous drunken brawls and penchant for clubbing.

Luckily for her, Tao, who won the Best Mandarin Male Singer Award, was not present.

She even made a reference to Eason Chan injuring his testicles after he fell off stage during a concert.

While no one batted an eyelid at A-mei’s sweep of the major awards, there were a few minor upsets.

Taiwanese indie quartet 1976, whose Brit rock-influenced sound has earned the guys a niche following, ousted huge favourites pop-rock band Sodagreen to win Best Band.

‘We have been playing for 14 years and we have no intention of stopping,’ said lead vocalist Chen Rui-Kai.

‘Look at us. All four of us are in our 30s but because of rock-and-roll, we still look so young and vibrant.’

Tattooed singer Mavis Fan, 33, who battled depression in the early 2000s following a career slump, edged out veterans in her category to snag Best Single Producer.

In the last two years, the former pop idol has successfully reinvented herself by forming a new band, Mavis Fan and 100 Percent.

Lighting up Saturday’s awards ceremony with kooky attire and a blistering live performance, the foursome looked like Taiwan’s answer to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

No awards for S’pore artistes, but…

THE Singapore contingent at the 21st Taiwan Golden Melody Awards may have returned home empty-handed, but its members can hold their heads high for putting in entertaining performances.

The small contingent consisted of JJ Lin, Tanya Chua and music producer Li Weisong.

Lin, 29, lost the Best Mandarin Male Singer Award to David Tao.

But he mesmerised the audience with a captivating medley of songs by the nominated female artistes – Tanya Chua’s Projectile, Cheer Chen’s Sun and A-mei’s Drop.

His soulful rendition was met with rousing applause, as well as smiles of approval from each of the female artistes he covered.

Lin also showed his funny bone when, prior to the presentation of Best Mandarin Male Singer, he and the other nominees were asked to spontaneously sing a few lines to express how they were feeling at that moment.

‘Eason Chan…I like your hair,’ he sang, looking at the Hong Kong singer’s beehive-like hair.

Drawing laughs too was 35-year-old Tanya Chua, whose creativity rivalled Lin’s.

Like the male singers, hosts Dee Hsu and Harlem Yu wanted each of the Best Female Singer nominees (Chua lost to A-mei) to put their feelings into song.

‘My back is aching after sitting down for so long, can we go ahead with the presenting of the awards now?’ she sang in her folksy style.

In an e-mail interview with The New Paper earlier, Chua, who won the Best Mandarin Female Singer Award twice (in 2006 and 2008), did not play up her chances of winning.

‘There are so many brilliant artistes and records this year,’ she said.

‘I’m just happy and thankful to be nominated for several categories, along with artistes such as A-mei and Cheer Chen.’

She hopes to see more local youth take the leap into music.

‘Singapore, despite being such a small country, (has) managed some pretty amazing feats in terms of gaining global recognition for excellence, be it in trade or services,’ she said.

‘But the local music industry has somehow always been in the shadow, despite us having many talents.’

To anyone who dreams of becoming the next Chua or Lin, her advice was: ‘Enjoy the journey to discovering yourself in music, find your voice and keep walking that way…who knows where it might lead you to?’


Best Mandarin female singer: A-mei

Best Mandarin male singer: David Tao

Best Mandarin Album: Amit (A-mei)

Song of the year: Come If You Dare (A-mei)

Best newcomer: Lala Hsu

Best band: 1976

Best pop group: Da Xi Men

Best album producer: Adi-Zai (Amit)

Best composer: Chen Hsiao Hsia (Singing On The Trees)

Best lyricist: Albert Lam for Get Right To The Point

Best music arrangement: Martin Teng (Come If You Dare)

Best single producer: Mavis Fan (Owner)

Best Hokkien male singer: Ricky Hsiao

Best Hokkien female singer: Tseng Xin Mei

Best music video: Daylight (Sodagreen)

Judges’ prize: Superband


The NewPaper