Ambitious beauty

(2012-03-26 03:36:11) 下一個
Saturday, Mar 17, 2012
The Star/Asia News Network

By Melisa Ng

It was inevitable for beauty pageant winner Chris Tong Bing Yu to become an actress but this music graduate is plotting every step of her career.

Chris Tong opens up her family home
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In the local Chinese entertainment industry, Tong, 29, is best known for her role as "Huang Shu Ya" in Family Court, a Chinese drama produced in Singapore in 2010 by Mediacorp.

The stunning beauty first appeared in another Mediacorp TV drama, Welcome Home, My Love, a joint-production with a Malaysian company in 2009.

That year, she also acted in the Malaysian drama, The Adjusters, opposite singer-actor Rynn Lim. Tong has starred in various drama series, such as The Glittering Days, Injustice, A Time to Embrace, C.L.I.F. and Code of Honour.

Movie-goers may also recognise her as the kungfu expert in the latest film, Petaling Street Warriors.

She was also a deejay and TV host.


Tong is currently staying with her parents, three siblings and a maid at a double-storey, terraced house bought four years ago.

"This house is a place I call home," says Tong, referring to her family residence in Cheras. Tong currently shuttles between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore due to shooting commitments.

"It is the best location for me and my family," says Tong of her neighbourhood. "It's near my workplace and not too far from the city. Cheras is rapidly developing and is a popular residential choice. My parents chose to live in Cheras as many of their friends and colleagues live nearby," explains Tong, who was born in Klang and grew up there.

Simple plan

The 372sq m (4,000sq ft) corner lot property provides ample space for the six of them.

The first floor comprises two living rooms, a kitchen and a guest room which has been turned into the maid's room. Three bedrooms on the second floor are occupied by Tong, her parents and her brothers. Her sister, who is currently studying abroad, shares the room with her. An additional level leads to the prayer room.

"I can't really pinpoint a particular interior design theme. My parents wanted to keep it simple and clean looking," says Tong.

She does not feel the need to decorate her house with fancy stuff. What she looks for in a house is comfort.

Greenery is abundant thanks to her father's green fingers, as he loves gardening. Tong explains that while her father single-handedly maintains the garden, her mother manages the house.

"My mum puts a lot of effort into this home. All the decorations and furniture were selected by her. She's very artistic and together with the interior designer, she designed the layout concept of the house," adds Tong.


Around the house, limited edition Coca-Cola collectibles are displayed everywhere. What makes these items special, is the fact that they were brought back by family members and close friends from their holidays abroad.

"It used to be my brother's hobby but now it has become the hobby of the whole family," exclaims Tong.

Meanwhile, the outdoor dining area, which is located beside the kitchen, has a good view of the garden. The dining table and the chairs are made of teak, which provide a comfortable place to sit even during hot days.

"My family members spend most of their time here, especially during breakfast and dinner hours," says Tong.

When asked about her favourite spot in her house, she replies, "Definitely the living room."

She adds, "Here's where I rest and watch television or read the newspapers after a tiring day at work. My working hours are pretty long - I work from 7am until late at night. Therefore, I need to stay in touch with the news and be aware of what's happening around me. Most of the time, my comfortable sofa becomes my bed," says Tong, laughingly, of the cosy living room.

Crowning achievement

Tong was crowned Miss Chinese Cosmo Malaysia in 2006.

"After the pageant in 2006, I received many job offers in Hong Kong and China. However, I felt that I wasn't ready and I wanted to complete my studies," says the graduate of contemporary music from University College Sedaya International (UCSI).

It was only in 2008 that Tong ventured into the entertainment scene with Mediacorp in Singapore. From then on, there was no turning back.

On her days off, Tong enjoys watching movies. "I usually have movie marathons at home. I believe that you will be able to learn a lot from other actors or actresses. An actress needs a lot of creativity when you want to portray different characters.

"I also try to write scripts. I hope that when I retire from acting, I can put my script-writing skills to good use," adds Tong.

She is also an avid traveller and has visited countries like Australia, Hong Kong, China, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

The hard-working lady admits that she spends most of her free time sleeping.


When asked about investment opportunities, Tong recognises that Kuala Lumpur offers a more viable option than Singapore.

"I'll definitely buy a house in KL, as this is where I feel most at ease - with my family and friends nearby. Actually, a few years back, I purchased my own property in USJ, Subang, but I decided to sell it for a good price," says the business-minded beauty.

"I am a person who loves to have my own space, therefore I would like to invest in landed property in the future," she adds.

Tong, who owns two dogs - a Shih Tzu and a Golden Retriever - admits that it has always been her dream to live in a semi-detached house or a bungalow with a garden and ample space for her dogs to run around.

Music album

"I'm a wilful person. The entertainment industry is definitely not an easy career choice but I believe nothing is impossible," says Tong."Acting is my passion and I'm quite fortunate to be able to make a living out of it."

In the next few years, Tong believes she will still be in the entertainment industry.

"I'll never stop trying. I hope to explore the world of entertainment overseas. I wish to achieve different goals in my acting career," says the determined actress, who aims to clinch more challenging roles.

We will surely "hear" more of Chris Tong as the ambitious beauty is also planning to record a music album this year.

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