Partners for Life

Baey Yam Keng, Member of Parliament (MP) for Tampines GRC and his wife, playwright and director Lim Hai Yen, ensure they are always in sync and understand each other's needs.

The couple, both 44, met as members of Hwa Chong Junior College's Chinese Society at age 17 and were good friends before taking their relationship to the next level in 1994. Yam Keng and Hai Yen were married three years later in 1997, and are now proud parents of three beautiful children aged 10 to 14. Here are their tips for a lasting relationship:

On staying close Yam Keng: We never had trouble getting along despite our different personalities. The biggest milestone was when I went into politics. Before that Hai Yen was the one with a higher profile as artistic director for theatre productions.

Hai Yen: Communication is key. We keep one day a week for ourselves, and set time aside to talk every day. It has helped us to be more open and honest about issues and how to cope with them.

On marriage Yam Keng: It's a duty. We are committed to each other for life, and to our children.

Perks on married life Yam Keng: She comes home with me after a date instead of my having to send her home to her parents!

Hai Yen: I have actually become more impressed with him after marriage. Despite being busy with work, he still handles most of the chores!

Most romantic thing you've done for one another Hai Yen: We still write cards or little notes to each other. Also, he tries to keep his Fridays free for us. Time is the best present ever - and one that money can't buy.

Yam Keng: She's made several photo books which chart our relationship milestones and document our lives together. I'm very grateful for them.

Working together… Hai Yen: We used to have a director-producer relationship, but it's a bit tricky this time as he is taking on the added role of actor in this play.

Your hopes for the future? Hai Yen: I take things one day at a time, so I'll see how it goes.

Yam Keng: I hope we continue to influence each other in a positive way, and mature as individuals. As long as we have each other's back, we can make it.

Advice for couples planning to tie the knot? Hai Yen: The fun doesn't stop once you're married, or when you have kids. You have to keep on playing and experimenting.

Yam Keng: Never give up. Have faith that things will work out.

Like Me. I Like. is on at the SOTA Studio Theatre from Dec 4 to 7. Tickets are available at

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