Career comes first

Career comes first
Chris Tong.
PHOTO: The New Paper

Malaysian actress Chris Tong has been married for almost seven years now.

But her career still comes before her marriage.

"Yes, I am self-centred and I am selfish. I've always said that I want to focus on my career while I still can, and I still stand by that," said Tong, 32.

She added candidly: "I don't like the feeling of being tied down. In a way, I am a little commitment-phobic."


Tong stars in upcoming Channel 8 drama House Of Fortune, where she plays money-minded beautician Luo Shu Ping.

The show, which premieres at 9pm on Jan 19, also stars Thomas Ong, Zhu Hou Ren, Kym Ng and Shane Pow.

It tells the story of Luo, her husband Qian Ren Jie (Ong) and how they plot to swindle their rich old uncle Qian Lao Shi (Zhu) of his money.

Tong, who has spent the past year juggling her acting career in China, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, will be spending more time in Singapore and Malaysia this year.

She has taken on a Channel 8 TV drama that will require six to nine months of filming, which starts in mid-January.

The Miss Malaysia Chinese Cosmos International 2006 emphasised that she chose to stay in Singapore because of her career opportunities, not her marriage.

She said: "Everyone in the industry knows that I can't sit still, and I love to go where opportunity calls for it.

"So they were very shocked that I decided to take on this long-form drama serial because it would mean that I will be tied down in Singapore this year."

She added: "I did it because I have been away for the past entire year, and viewers are starting to think that I am abandoning the local TV scene but that's not the case."

Tong is driven by the ambition to have a career-defining role before she turns 35.

"I don't want to retire from showbiz with any regrets.

"I want to have a role that I am very satisfied with. Only then will I consider having babies and starting a family," she said.

Tong believes that her husband, a 36-year-old Malaysian who wants to be known only as Mr Kee, is understanding enough to accept this.

She said that the two of them have always been very independent when it comes to their finances and careers.

Tong, who admits to being very thrifty, feels that it is too expensive to have a baby now.

That will only happen when she feels mentally and financially ready.

She laughed and said: "I even managed to convince my husband that we shouldn't have a baby now due to the high expenses involved.

"These days, whenever my in-laws nag at us to have kids, he (her husband) will hurriedly say: 'No, no, no. It's not time yet'." 

This article was first published on January 06, 2016.
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