Wong Hei Willing to Protect Stephen Chan Against All Odds, Even If It Meant a Calamity
Wong Hei (王喜) who had entered the entertainment industry for 19 years now, does not have many friends and the only friend that he would go all out for, was none other than TVB’s Broadcasting Affairs General Manager, Stephen Chan (陳志雲). For Stephen, Wong Hei placed everything he had on the frontline and walked with him through a grueling period of 540 days of court hearings. For Stephen, Wong Hei also became an umbrella-bearer and accompanied him to court, absolutely proving the theory of “sticking through thick and thin” through his actions.
It was no wonder then that Wong Hei was the first person Stephen had thanked upon his acquittal last Friday. This “relationship” of helping each other out through those turbulent times had already elevated as both parties regarded each other as their family member and had seen the other party’s parents. Thus, since they treated one another as family, if their family member was in trouble, it was akin to them themselves being in trouble. Seeing Stephen being prosecuted and getting “bullied” by the prosecuting attorney during those court hearings, Wong Hei felt heart-wrenching and even sadly teared up at the mere recollection of those scenes. This article is a part one of five segments of an interview with Wong Hei and his inner world.
It’s normal to hold up an umbrella during a rain
Wong Hei revealed, “On 11 March 2010, which was the day of Stephen Chan’s earlier arrest on suspicion of corruption, my life and Stephen’s life seen some changes, our relations underwent a change, our feelings were really building up. It’s also due to this tough period that we shared the same experience, had the same exemplification thus having the scene of me carrying an umbrella for Stephen. It’s not something worth commending about, I had already expected that people would make gibberish comments about it.
However, as Mr Chan’s (Stephen) friend, opening and holding the umbrella for him when it rains is a normal act. Trying your best to protect the things that you know he treasured is also a normal act too. On that fateful day, he went to do his hair early in the morning but it started to rain unexpectedly, I didn’t want a few drops of rain to ruin his hairstyle and furthermore, Mr Chan is a man who cares a lot about his exterior appearance…(The reporter then asked Wong Hei who is more vain, him or Stephen) As compared to me? Of course he is more vain lahs!
Actually many friends are behind Mr Chan and were extremely concerned about him. However, due to sensitivity issues, they were unable to express their support for Mr Chan through their actions. Since that was the case, the responsibility should fall upon a person who was convenient to show his support, so let me be the one who shall showcase it then!
During the court trial, a huge bunch of Mr Chan’s friends and even some professionals showed up in support of him. During the prosecution, Mr Chan used his strongest will and EQ (emotional quotient) to face those three weeks of hearings. In court, Mr Chan was extremely strong but after the hearing ended, Mr Chan showed a moment of fragility as he professed that he felt like he was being “bullied”. At that moment, I felt so awful. Hearing those words coming out from a exceedingly strong man, I felt even more horrid. (Wong Hei’s eyes start to grow red) Did I cry at that time? I’m not going to tell you.
I was a policeman in the past thus it came as no surprise that I felt like I had a righteous sense of responsibility to uphold justice for him. A bunch of people who fought relentlessly for Mr Chan, were also working round the clock to seek justice for him. Because I experienced all these with Mr Chan and although the process was excruciating but our relations have “upgraded” from good friends to family members as a result. I had even “applied” to my mother for approval (on acknowledging Stephen Chan as a family member) and she has given me her consent.”
Meet the parents session was hilarious
Wong Hei then continued, “From young, I was brought up in a family with strict discipline. I was taught not to anyhow acknowledge outsiders as a family member. When
I was still a kid, I accidentally mistook another man for my father, which caused me to be smacked by my mother. Forwarded back to today, I already see Mr Chan as my family member and that was enough for me to bring Mr Chan to meet my mother. The day of the “meet the parents session” was also the day which I had helped Mr Chan to “release lives” (Buddhism practice of purchasing animals that are due to be slaughtered and letting them go. It is regarded as a kind and compassionate act, which will be duly rewarded).
Actually the arrest had already happened at that time but I was still anxious to help Mr Chan to “release lives”. Thus, on that day, I brought my mother along with me while Mr Chan had already reached the venue. I introduced Mr Chan to my mother and she was extremely courteous upon meeting him, totally not seeing him as “half a son” but instead still viewing him as a senior management staff. The scenario was indeed amusing and very hilarious. ”
Satisfied to be a small-time actor
Wong Hei professed, “Making friends with one another is an interesting but strange thing. When you make friends with someone, it inevitably means you would have to accept his past history. It’s as good as saying that when I join the Wudang Sect., I must be on bad terms with the Emei Sect and because of the long-standing “gratitude and vendetta” that Mr Chan was involved in, I was forced into taking it up! In terms of work, Mr Chan has never ever helped me, I will not let such a thing happen, if people want to label me as being under the “Stephen Chan camp”, I can’t control it. It is like a form of discrepancy in terms of taste however there’s no such thing as a superior taste or low taste but rather it’s either good or bad. I don’t have any way to change people’s sense of taste. In any case, Mr Chan will be his General Manager while I will be my small-time actor. Well, we have yet to receive any preferential treatment. Just because we are the so-called “Stephen Chan camp”? Is it a calamity or a blessing in disguise? Let me be the one to endure it all! So what even if it means a a calamity!”
For 19 years, Wong Hei didn’t dare to say “Hi” to Stephen Chan
Wong Hei remarked, “My first job was a policeman. After work, I wouldn’t tell anyone or let them know that I was actually moonlighting and doing another job on the sideline. This was to avoid any trouble. After which, I switched jobs and went to work as a deejay at a radio station, clocking in 18 hours a day. Everyday, I would holed up in the station and write my radio scripts. Actually, I didn’t had much friends. All the way until the year 1992 when I met Mr Chan (Stephen) at the radio station. Mr Chan was already a high-ranking executive at that time hence I didn’t dare to wave and say “Hi!” to him.
It wasn’t until the radio station moved to Ho Man Tin that we became on familiar terms with each other. I still remember that when Mr Chan drove a MR2 (Japan’s Toyota Sports Car), it was very funny seeing the then plump and fat him trying to squeeze into the car.
In June 1995, Mr Chan entered TVB. At that time, I had already quit the radio deejay job and was jobless for nine months until Catherina Tsang (曾勵珍) came to find me to film dramas in TVB, thus marking my venture into the television industry in 1996. Mr Chan often invited me to his house for meals. His home was 1,600 square feet wide, it was huge. I would boil some soups for him to drink however we never ever flaunt our friendship. Mr Chan and I would also evade in front of people as we were afraid that our colleagues in TVB might gossip about it.
Mr Chan’s self-discipline is something that I admire most about him as a self-discipline person would usually succeed in whatever they do. Mr Chan is much more plain in appearance than me but he is a powerful man who can make a person let down his guard and make you face him in your true self. This could be seen in his interview show with celebrities, Be My Guest《志雲飯局》. That hit show was also the attributing reason why Mr Chan is so successful now. However, I rejected his offer to go on “Be My Guest” back then as I would surely speak the truth and spill the beans in front of him!”
Source: Oriental Daily
This article was translated by Ah K, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com.