From Miss Hong Kong to selling fishballs

From Miss Hong Kong to selling fishballs

HONG KONG - Some Miss Hong Kong finalists become movie queens. Others marry money.

Then there is the 1994 winner, Halina Tam Siu Wan, who is now selling fishballs in Causeway Bay after a slump in her entertainment career, says Apple Daily.

She set up the shop a month ago and business has been so brisk - about 3,000 fishballs are sold every day - that the shop is in the black and she is planning a Mong Kok outlet.

The 41-year-old resigned from TVB in 2011, after 18 years and supporting roles in dramas such as 2006's Glittering Days (she is a singer and Charmaine Sheh's rival) and 2009's Sweetness In The Salt (she is an adulteress and Raymond Wong's older sister). Her monthly salary was HK$18,000 then, and the last straw was when she got an increment of HK$300, says the report.

She says she decided to switch to business, with the support of her husband, an insurance executive. A HK$1 million (S$161,000) joint venture with friends, the shop opens 17 hours a day. Snacks such as siu mai are also available. Rental alone is HK$110,000 and other expenses, including the salaries of six employees on two shifts, run to more than HK$100,000, says the report.

Tam says she is thankful for the media reports about her shop. "Mondays to Thursdays, there're lots of mainland and Taiwanese tourists. Some of them come carrying magazines. Fridays to Sundays, there're more Hong Kongers. Maybe they come when they don't have to work. I come to the shop now and then to help."

Miss Hong Kong finalists who have gone on to greater things include actress Maggie Cheung Man Yuk. Others, such as actress Michele Reis, wife of property heir Julian Hui, are mainly famous for being famous.

In Tam's year, the runners-up were Annamarie Wood, who has faded out of entertainment, and actress Theresa Lee. Maggie Cheung Ho Yee, an also-ran that year, went on to be a TVB leading lady, but she has since left the broadcaster.

This article was published on April 17 in The Straits Times.

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