Chew Chor Meng: I’ve never hated my dad for what he did to me

The Mediacorp actor opened up about his battered childhood at his book launch

Chew Chor Meng: I’ve never hated my dad for what he did to me

Photos: Camelia Ting
Video: Vanessa Lim

“It was easier writing about my childhood than my early years as an artiste because I suffered quite a number of shocks when I was young; everything is imprinted clearly in my mind and I’ve never forgotten any of it,” Mediacorp artiste Chew Chor Meng shared.

Speaking to Toggle at his book launch, Stages of Life, the 47-year-old let us in on his battered past. “My dad was an alcoholic before he passed away. He’d hit my mother and I, also threatening to kill us,” he recollected. “He’d tell us that he would kill us first then commit suicide after.”

Stages of Life, which is written in both English and Chinese, chronicles his journey from when he was 5 till now. The labour of love took around two years to complete and is a fitting way to commemorate his 25th year in showbiz. He has also given 300 copies of his book to Focus on the Family, with all proceeds from the sale going to the local charity.

Chew Chor Meng: I’ve never hated my dad for what he did to me

“We didn’t have a fixed living arrangement because we were worried that he’d follow through with his threat – we’d stay at a temple or at my aunt’s place,” the 118 actor continued. “After sobering up, he would have no recollection of what he did or said when he was drunk; he became a different person once he was intoxicated.”

Despite the turbulent times he had to live through as a child, the actor harbours no ill feelings towards his father. “I’ve never been afraid or hated him – I don’t have any particular feelings towards him,” he mused. “Nobody knew that he had committed suicide until a few days later, when a neighbour called the temple we were staying at to tell my mom that he didn’t come home the day before.”

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