Ng Man Tat was living in Johor Bahru for many years but wanted to return to Hong Kong prior to his death

PHOTO: Screengrab from YouTube/ TVB (official)

[UPDATE: MAR 2, 2021]

Tenky Tin updated the media that Ng Man Tat's memorial service has been cancelled. 


He made his fame and fortune in Hong Kong as one half of an unforgettable Chinese cinematic comedy duo with Stephen Chow, but it was Johor Bahru (JB), Malaysia, that veteran actor Ng Man Tat called home for years before his death.

The 70-year-old died on Saturday (Feb 27) in a Hong Kong hospital after a battle with liver cancer, and it was revealed in media reports that prior to his recent hospitalisation, he was living in JB for "many years".

Man Tat married Malaysian Hou Shan Yan — the second runner-up of a beauty pageant decades ago — in 1996 and they have a daughter aged 25 and an 18-year-old son. Hou's relatives told the media that the couple had lived in JB for a long time and Man Tat flew overseas only if he had filming engagements.

They added that when the family found out about his cancer, they flew to China for treatment, though Hou returned to Malaysia during that period.

Reports said Man Tat later expressed his wish to be in Hong Kong and he was transferred to Union Hospital in the city on Feb 20. He underwent surgery and later informed his good friend, actor Tenky Tin, that "the worst is over". Friends who visited him in hospital also said he was fine.

However, his health took a turn for the worse on Saturday and he was transferred to the ICU.

Tenky told the media that doctors prescribed medications to Man Tat to help him feel better and let him sleep, so he died peacefully surrounded by Hou, his children, and some close friends.

Tenky added that a memorial service will be held and details will be released later.

Man Tat was married twice and also had a serious relationship with a third woman. His first marriage was at age 25 to his long-time girlfriend Mak Lei Lei. The couple had twin daughters.

While still married to Mak, he co-habited with former TVB actress Lo Siu Chi in 1989, and had a daughter.

He met Hou in 1993 when he came to Singapore to film the movie All's Well, Ends Well Too, and reportedly courted her even though he was still married to Mak.

Mak divorced him in 1994 reportedly because she could not take his philandering ways.

Man Tat and Hou married in 1996 when she became pregnant. It is not known when he broke up with Lo. According to The Star, the two held a wedding reception after she gave birth to their daughter, but he didn't show up on the day of the wedding.

kwokkarpeng@asiaone.com