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Fri, Jun 25, 2010
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Gong Li says she became Singaporean 'for her family"

(Above: US actor John Cusack (R) and Chinese actress Gong Li arrive for the opening of the 13th Shanghai International Film Festival in Shanghai on June 12, 2010)

Chinese actress Gong Li revealed that she became a Singapore citizen "for family reasons".

According to an interview she gave to Lianhe Zaobao, the actress acknowledged that she became a citizen because of her husband and his family. She was asked by the
reporter if she meant her parents, she said: "No, they are in Beijing." When probed further by the reporter who asked if she meant her husband and his family, she nodded.

Her husband is 59-year-old tobacco businessman, Oei Hoe Seong. She received her pink identity card in 2008.

Gong was in town for the Asian leg of her promotional tour for her new Hollywood movie, Shanghai.

She also revealed that she treated the island as a holiday retreat, and stays in hotels whenever she is in town. But when queried why she did not stay with her family in Singapore, she declined to elaborate, saying: "I don't discuss private matters."

While her naturalisation process was a very low-key affair, it did cause a lot of unhappiness in the Chinese community, which was expressed vehemently on online forums. Many

Chinese citizens believed that Gong's decision to become a Singapore citizen had to do with her celebrity status. When asked if she was worried that netizens found it hard to accept her decision, she said that everyone was still "sons of the Yellow River" - meaning that she still considered herself Chinese.

She also spoke about her impression of Singapore, commenting: "I like Singaporeans, they speak good Mandarin. The country also has good legislation, is safe and you can even walk along the streets by yourself late at night without fear of any danger."

But she laughed and said that she did not try walking alone by herself at night, adding that she had heard it from friends.

She also likes to eat bak kut teh when in Singapore, a popular dish of pork ribs in herbal soup, but could not name where she goes to savour it, as friends usually bring her around.

However, her pronunciation of the Hokkien term sounded stiff, according to the report. She also said that China had a lot to learn from Singapore when it came to food safety and hygiene.

The actress flies frequently between Hong Kong, Singapore, France and the United States.

She told the Chinese paper: "France, because the fashion and beauty brands that I endorse are based there, and I have to be present for events from time to time. I shop in Hong Kong and I have a dog there too. I take my holidays and shoot commercials in Singapore and the air here is clean."

In the US, she has been photographed with other men, including co-star Colin Farrell, with whom she starred in the movie Miami Vice in 2006. However, she has no ill-feelings for the paparazzi, whom she says are also human and just doing their jobs. She said: "Don't call them 'gouzai'. We are all human, we have jobs. They respect me. They didn't break any laws."

"Gouzai" or "doggies" is a Chinese derogatory term for media who hound stars for private scoops or revealing pictures.

She also shrugged off those pictures, saying that she was just socialising, and the publication of these pictures did not mean anything.

When she was asked if she would consider acting in a Singaporean movie or television show, she said "Yes, as long as it's a good script." But she also noted that Singaporean dramas tended to have too many local references. She said: "If I were to act in one, it wouldn't be suitable."


>> Photos: Gong Li - China's most successful diva

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readers' comments
Relac lah... There are also many Singaporeans who work overseas and treat Singapore as a "hotel". She is probably trying to be more sensitive to the media, not just Singapore's.
Posted by jessicaong on Sat, 26 Jun 2010 at 06:57 AM
Nothing against FT or immigrants, my grandparents are immigrants too , but shouldn't Singapore government do proper interviews and consideration. We give them citizenship so that they can treat Singapore as a "hotel" and "retreat" ?
Posted by AncientOne on Fri, 25 Jun 2010 at 22:07 PM

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