Showing posts from October, 2011

Jimmy Lin Sr.

Some people probably could just appear once in your life and you'd remember him for a lifetime. Just take, Jimmy Lin Chong for instance. This Taiwanese singer is not to be confused with his younger counterpart, Jimmy Lin Chih-Ying who became an overnight superstar at the age of 17 with the release of his debut album, Not Every Love Song has Fond Memories (不是每個戀曲都有美好回憶). Jimmy Lin Chong was more a man of the 60s, having started his career in Taiwan in 1955. In 1962, he had gone to study in Japan. There, he was signed up by a Japanese film company Toho and became a big hit. In 1968, he became popular in Hong Kong too and he appeared in Shaws movies. I remember first seeing Jimmy Lin Chong in the 1969 Run Run Shaw produced movie, The Singing Thief' (inset)which he appeared with Lo Lieh, Lily Ho and Essie Lin Chia. When I saw him next, it was in a recent Hokkien variety show in TV. This time round, I was surprised to hear him speaking Hokkien. That probably would leave another imp…

Spoilt for Choices

Not too long ago, someone recommended me to watch the latest version of Madam White Snake, this popular Chinese legend about a young scholar who falls in love with a thousand year old white snake who has taken on the form of a beautiful woman. Ching Siu-tung's 2011 movie version stars famed kungfu star, Jet Li and even has the corny title of It's Love which I thought is still as bad as the other title, The Sorcerer and the White Snake (inset). As it is, I did not watch the movie. Afterall, it is said the movie, even with all its special effects, pales when compared to Tsui Hark's Green Snake, the latter I had seen and enjoyed in 1993 when a friend and I frequented the now defunct Cathay theatre in Taiping. Besides, Hong Kong reportedly reacted negatively to the latest version and since the legend has always been a subject of films and television series, one would be spoilt for choices!

Which version of Madam White Snake would appeal to you?


There was something Singapore's former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew (inset)said that should be good food for thought. He had said in a mix of Chinese and English during a dialogue at the World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention that if young Singaporeans were to give up the Chinese language, then they would have lost something valuable. Probably, he has been concerned about the declining proficiency of the younger set of Singaporean Chinese. The younger set of Chinese in neighbouring Malaysia however are rather different. Most, having had been to Chinese primary school could speak Mandarin and from there on, could switch on to other Chinese dialects easily, especially Cantonese which they probably would have picked up too from Hong Kong television series. Many learn to speak dialects like Hokkien, Teochew and Hakka from the older generations, their parents or grandparents especially while others pick up the Malay language from schools or their Malay friends and the smarter one would…

Bless Anita!

The late Anita's Mui Yin Fong's pearl and diamond necklace and earrings reportedly drew the highest bid of some US$200,000 at the Sotheby's auction. Many people probably still remember Hong Kong's cantopop diva with the contralto voice and the outrageous costumes who had been dubbed the Madonna of Asia. The singer was also a well-known actress, appearing with Jacky Chan in Rumble in the Bronx and winning the Best Actress Award at the Golden Horse Film Festival for her role as a ghost in the haunting 1987 movie, Rouge. Anita Mui starred in over 40 movies over a 20 year period, taking on comedic and dramatic roles. Throughout her career, she was also actively involved in charitable projects, so much so that the Tibetan red-crown Shamar Rinpoche proclaimed that she had a true and the and the the mayor of San Franscisco proclaiming 18 April to be Anita Mui Day. Elsewhere in Toronto, Canada, 23 October 1993 is also ab Anita Mui Day. Bless Anita!


You'd think being incorrupt is a good thing considering that in Roman Catholicism, this is a sign that an individual is a saint. Being incorrupt by the way, means that the human body will not go through the normal process of decomposition. I suppose the idea is very different for the Chinese. Many years back, I heard of a rich young man who died in a helicopter crash. A number of his siblings died prematurely of various causes and there were rumours then that a senior member of the family was buried in an unfavourable spot and the body had not decomposed. For the Chinese, when an elder in the family dies and the body does not decompose, that would spell trouble for the descendants. So, you see in this sense, there is a difference between Westerners and Orientals. In Roman Catholicism, not every saint is also expected to have an incorruptible corpse and I'd suppose now that not everyone with an incorruptible corpse is a saint.

Meet the Incorrupt Saints: Saint John Mary Vianney