Michael Lai, giant of film and TV music in Hong Kong, dies at 73

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    By sh33pymd,

    Source: SCMP/Ming Pao/Appledaily

    Lai won Best Original Film Score at the Hong Kong Film Awards for his work on Rouge. Photo: SCMP Pictures

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    Hong Kong on Sunday lost a key protagonist in the elevation of local film and music since the 1970s. Michael Lai Siu-tin, best remembered for award-winning lyrical tunes from TV and the big screen, died on Sunday at St Paul’s Hospital. He was 73.

    “At 7.55 this morning, our good friend Siu Tin passed away peacefully with family members and good friends at his side,” Nancy Sit Ka-yin, Lai’s long-time TV co-host, said in a statement. “Throughout the night, we were there singing his songs, one after another. Though his eyes were closed, we knew he was listening with fondness, and I couldn’t hold my tears,” she added.

    Lai had received treatment for pneumonia in May, and recovered to join Sit on the TV show Canto-pop at 50 in late July, in what would be his last public appearance. He was born in 1946, in the British colony just returned from Japanese occupation, to parents active in the arts and literary circles. His composer father, Lai Cho-tin, was a music director for films, and his mother was a prolific cultural critic for Chinese media, and the pair had come back to the liberated city after getting married in mainland China.

    Those connections helped land him movie roles, a screen debut coming in 1953 when he was just seven. A decade later, he had appeared in a total of 36 films. When it came to music, Lai was trained to play the classical piano. But his heart was with Elvis Presley, a cultural calling which would cause some conflict at home. “My father was very angry and he smashed the guitar Grandma bought me. I was heartbroken – three times, as he broke three,” he later told the makers of an oral history project.

    In his late teens, Lai decided to leave the family to pursue his passion for pop music. He joined a band in a nightclub, playing guitar and conga. There, he met the bandleader Joseph Koo Ka-fai, the father of Canto-pop. In 1973, Lai won third prize in his first songwriting contest. And the competition had been tough, Koo taking first place and James Wong, another iconic cultural figure, coming second. With Ask Me, a song featured in the film Jumping Ash in 1976, Lai became a household name as a songwriter. He continued to compose for a series of TV dramas, which back then could attract up to a million viewers.

    Lai excelled with his melodies for the big screen, and won Best Original Film Score at the Hong Kong Film Awards for his work on Rouge, a 1987 film starring Anita Mui Yim-fong and Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing. With more than 30 movies and 700 songs under his belt, the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong gave Lai the Hall of Fame Award in 2006.

    Philip Chan, an actor who left his day job in the police force to become a producer on Jumping Ash, recalled Lai, his La Salle College schoolmate, came to his aid by composing the title song for the movie. “I regret never praising him or thanking him enough for his friendship, his inspiration and his music. I think I know why. Michael is kind yet stern, humble yet bold,” Chan said on Sunday. “As the saying goes, it is when the wind has stopped that you notice the stillness of the willow tree. Yes, Michael is the willow tree of our Hong Kong music industry,” he adds. Lai is survived by a son from his first marriage, and his younger sister, Helen Lai, a master in contemporary dance. 


    Chiling Lin weds Akira in Tainan: Taiwanese authorities give couple oil, salt, vinegar, tea

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    By sh33pymd,

    Source: The Straits Times/TVBS News/Ming Pao/On.cc

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    Taiwanese model Lin Chi-ling married Japanese singer-actor Akira in Tainan on Nov 17, 2019.

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    The Taiwan model and Japanese actor-singer Akira are 

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     (Nov 17) in Tainan in Taiwan. Chiling Lin has asked guests not to give her hongbao. 

    Her choice to go traditional - Tainan is her father's home town - has solved the headache for the authorities in Tainan who want to reap publicity and ramp up its tourism appeal. Noting that the challenge to present Lin with appropriate gifts is harder to tackle than fielding a candidate for elections, Tainan mayor Huang Wei-cher said the authorities are treating the wedding as though the city is "giving Lin away". 

    It is gifting Akira's family with items that are linked to traditional marriage rites, such as oil, salt, firewood, vinegar and tea. Only the best sources in Tainan have been tapped for the products so that Tainan's honour will be protected.

    According to Taipei Times, the couple will also receive a set of silk bedsheets and pillow cases as well as dried longan and longan honey to welcome the arrival of sons in the family. Lin, 44, who

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     to Akira, 38, in June, will hold the wedding at the Tainan Art Museum. To allay fears of damage to the museum's Building One, which was once Taiwan's oldest police station, the event organisers will use the open space between the building and the newer Building Two instead.

    Taiwan News reported that the space has been rented out from 5.30pm until midnight on Sunday for NT$170,000 (S$7,580). The space can accommodate up to 15 tables. Up to 100 people are expected to turn up, with invitations reportedly sent to TV host Dee Hsu, comedian Mickey Huang, actress Ariel Lin and singer Wang Leehom among others. A live telecast showed Lin, reportedly wearing a Ralph Lauren gown, and Akira starting the ceremony from early in the afternoon. They gave speeches and received good wishes from family and relatives. 


    Shirley Yeung confirms pregnancy after keeping her marriage under wraps

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    By sh33pymd,

    Source: The Straits Times/Ming Pao

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    Actress Shirley Yeung, the 2001 Miss Hong Kong winner, confirmed on Sunday (Oct 13) that she is pregnant with her second child, after earlier speculation in the media about her slightly bulging tummy.

    The 41-year-old, known for roles in TVB dramas such as Angels Of Mission (2004) and The Brink Of Law (2007), is a single mother with a seven-year-old daughter. According to Ming Pao Daily News, Yeung discovered she was pregnant when she went to see a doctor in a hospital in August.

    Last month, she was spotted by netizens with a slight bulging tummy while filming a television programme in Seoul. Earlier this month, she was seen attending a commercial activity in China in a loose-fitting blouse with an even bigger tummy. Yeung, who has always stressed that she is single, told the Hong Kong media that she and her boyfriend had just registered their marriage outside Hong Kong in the middle of this year. She said that she did not keep the marriage secret intentionally, but did not see the need to announce it as her husband is not from the entertainment industry. 

    Yeung, who had reportedly dated married businessman Peter Ko four years ago, denied that her husband is Mr Ko and declined to disclose more details about her husband. The actress was involved in a nine-year relationship with actor Gregory Lee after she entered the entertainment industry. She later fell in love with Hong Kong team diver Andy Ng and was pregnant with his child. She broke off with Ng after giving birth to their daughter Krystal in the United States in 2012. 


    Tens of thousands pound Hong Kong's streets, outraged by anti-mask law amid sweeping closures of MTR stations

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    By sh33pymd,

    Source: SCMP/On.cc/Appledaily

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    在東角道的反對蒙面法遊行,有人用揚聲器向執法人員宣戰。(陳德賢攝)

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    Thousands of demonstrators angered by the anti-mask law returned to Hong Kong’s streets on Sunday, after its introduction late on Friday sparked violence that ground the city to a halt.

    Two groups of anti-government demonstrators, many of them covering their faces, are marching on routes from East Point Road in Causeway Bay to Chater Garden in Central, and from Salisbury Road in Tsim Sha Tsui to Maple Street Playground in Sham Shui Po, in a coordinated action that started at 2pm. It is the third straight day of protests against the ban, which came into force at midnight on Friday. Radicals of the anti-government movement have vandalised railway facilities and shops as part of the backlash, which led to the closure of the entire railway network on Saturday.

    Hong Kong’s embattled leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor appealed to the public on Saturday to condemn the protest violence as she defended her decision to impose the ban by invoking colonial-era legislation for the first time in more than half a century. Follow our live blog below for the latest updates. Reporting by Ng Kang-chung, Fiona Sun, Simone McCarthy, Jeffie Lam, Laurie Chen, Chris Lau, Karen Zhang, Zoe Low and Georgina Lee.

    Woman dies and 14 injured in Hong Kong crash between minibus and bus in New Territories

    sh33pymd
    By sh33pymd,

    Source: SCMP

    A minibus and KMB vehicle were involved in the 4am crash on Thursday. Photo: RTHK

    A woman died and 14 people were injured in a crash involving a minibus and a bus in Sheung Shui early on Thursday.

    The 56-year-old female driver of the red minibus, which was bound for Yuen Long from Sheung Shui, became trapped after the vehicle collided head-on with a Kowloon Motor Bus on the Kwu Tung stretch of Castle Peak Road at about 4am. She fell unconscious during the rescue effort and later died at the scene.

    Police said the minibus had been driving on the wrong side of the road at the time of the collision. The bus then smashed into a taxi parked on the pavement. The 14 injured – 11 minibus passengers and the driver and two passengers of the other bus – have been sent to North District Hospital in Sheung Shui, Nethersole Hospital in Tai Po, and Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin, for treatment.


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