SINGAPORE – Local actor Tay Ping Hui has acted in his first Malay-language drama – though he cannot speak Malay.
Tay, 50, disclosed on social media on Sunday (July 11) that he plays a Michelin-starred chef in a new Suria show, Korban.
He told Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao that he has a key role in the show even though he does not have many scenes.
Filming for Korban has been completed and the show is scheduled to air in October.
Tay, who has acted in television series in Singapore and China, said he took on the role in Korban on the suggestion of a friend who was the casting director.
“I have always wanted to challenge myself and accepted it as there were no scheduling issues,” Wanbao quoted him as saying.
As he cannot speak Malay, he asked people around him who are fluent in the language to help him translate the lines or turned to Google.
It took him three to four times longer than usual to memorise his lines.
“While I was doing my homework, I had to translate every word in order to understand the plot,” he said.
Tay said his fellow actors from Suria were “very patient and understanding” with him.
He gave himself a 5.5 rating out of 10 for his performance.
When asked if he would take up roles in more Malay dramas in the future, he said: “After this lesson, it looks like I have to use my SkillsFuture Credit to take Malay lessons.”
Neither is he ruling out the possibility of appearing in a Tamil drama. “It will be interesting to take up a challenge.”