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Fri, May 17, 2013
The New Paper
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Mum inspired him to give showbiz a shot

Every Mother's Day for the last 10 years, he'd write a blog post about the most special woman in his life.

Bruneian actor Wu Chun lost his mum to pancreatic cancer in 2002. It was then that he decided to give the entertainment industry a shot.

His reason? Nothing could be more frightening than losing her.

Wu's mum, Madam Neo Bee Chuan, died at 53.

Now, the movie star, recently seen in the period flick Saving General Yang, is grateful for everything she taught him.

Wu, 33, said over the phone from Brunei: "My mother found out about her illness in the late 90s, but didn't tell any of her children.

"She only told my dad and even went for surgery to remove the cancer alone.

"I was studying in Australia, and she knew that if I found out about the cancer, I would have quit school to come home."

It came to the point that his mum couldn't hide her condition any longer as her stomach was constantly bloated from water retention.

Said Wu: "The cancer returned, but she still kept it from us. I only found out in January 2002, after my university graduation.

"My mum was an amazing woman who, even though she was so scared of leaving us, still wanted me to finish my studies first."

Wu, who has an older brother and sister, was at his mother's side the most in the seven months before she died.

As the chemotherapy was weakening her, he took her to the US, Mexico, Australia and Singapore for alternative treatment.

He had found out that the alternative therapy centres there were the best in the field.

Added Wu: "I used to be so shy with her.

"Every Mother's Day, I would leave her present on her chair or table and scuttle off because I didn't want to give it to her face to face.

"She loves flowers, so I would always get her sunflowers and white lilies.

"After I took her on trips to find alternative treatments, everything changed.

"I had to massage her and carry her around when she was too weak to move so all the barriers between us were broken.

"In her last days when she became too weak to recognise anyone, she would still remember me."

The only regret he has is not letting his mum speak her mind when she wanted to leave her "last words".

Wu said that his mother wanted to speak to the family, but no one wanted to listen as they were clinging on to the hope that she would recover.

He said: "You know, when I was younger, when people asked me if I preferred my mum or dad, I would always say my dad.

"The reason is my mum was strict. I realise now that she loved us so much that she wasn't bothered if we disliked her for scolding us.

"The greater love is when someone tells you the truth when you need to hear it."

Said Wu: "My mum is the reason I only do one to two movies a year these days.

"My dad is getting older too and I don't want to have any regrets. I want to know that I have spent as much time with my family as possible."

Following his mum's example, Wu said that he would be a fantastic father when he starts his own family.

He used to want four to five children, but realised that they would suffer from a lack of attention from their parents.

Now, his dream is to have two children - a girl and a boy.

He said that he has also strived to be a good person and this includes staying away from any vices in the entertainment industry.

"Just in case my mum is looking down at me from above!"

"Mum, I want to tell you that life is never fair and you've allowed me to understand that everything happens for a reason.

You have given me the strength to stay positive and strong enough to overcome any obstacles in life.

"So, don't worry about me any more because I can really handle my life well now!"

- Charlene Chua

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readers' comments
Posted by mystrawberry on Fri, 17 May 2013 at 20:40 PM

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