updated 19 Jun 2012, 01:19
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Sun, Jun 03, 2012
The Business Times
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Heartfelt tribute to Yong
by Rachel Loi

IF you were asked what you would most likely remember Emma Yong (right) for, what would be the first thing to come to mind?

For most Singaporeans familiar with the local actress who died recently of cancer, it would be her role as one third of The Dim Sum Dollies and their ever-famous SMRT jingle alerting commuters that a "Train is coming!".

But for those who knew her on a more personal level, namely her close friends from the same industry, there was more to the triple-threat actress than most of the public had had the chance to see.

For one, she did not only sing one-line jingles. In fact, according to actor Robin Goh, one of the songs she really enjoyed performing was "I Wish You Love", which was originally a French song that was later translated into English and sung by notable musicians including Frank Sinatra.

Goh had performed it with her in A Singaporean In Paris, along with Hossan Leong, George Chan and Leigh McDonald.

And he is set to perform it again, with George Chan, at a special fundraising concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall in mid-June.

"Emma loved singing these French songs, so we thought we would include them," he says. "Hopefully, we will do them, and the memory of Emma, justice."

We Heart Emma, as the concert is titled, will be performed by a star-studded ensemble of local performers including Adrian Pang, Ivan Heng, Selena Tan, Glen Goei, Sebastian Tan, Tan Kheng Hua, Denise Tan and more.

Audiences will get to see (or rather, hear) a range of songs most loved by Yong, from local musicals like "Beauty World", to The Dim Sum Dollies routines, and even Disney soundtracks and jazz pieces.

Most importantly, all proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to The Emma Yong Fund - a fund that will dispense grants to theatre practitioners with life-threatening illnesses like cancer.

In fact, not only will the $3 Sistic handling fees be donated by Sistic to the fund, but the venue will be sponsored by The Esplanade.

The decision was made before The Esplanade CEO Benson Puah was diagnosed with cancer, according to Clarence Yap, assistant director of Programming at The Esplanade Co Ltd.

"The concert and the recent news about Benson are unrelated in that sense," he says. "But what it does highlight is that cancer can affect the young and healthy, people of all ages, genders or professions at any time."

We "heart" Emma is on at the Esplanade Concert Hall on June 15, at 7.30pm and 9.30pm. Tickets cost $50, $100, $250 and $500. Call 6348-5555 or log on to for more information and to purchase tickets.

For inquiries about the Emma Yong Fund, call 6550-9384, or visit

This article was first published in The Business Times.

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