Ah Nan 'a kind man' in spite of fierce looks

23 January 2013 / 3 years 9 months ago

Source: My PaperThe getai community is in mourning after hearing news that fellow performer and actor John Cheng, better known as Ah Nan, died early yesterday, after collapsing in a nightclub.The 52-year-old had reportedly not been feeling well on Monday afternoon. At about midnight, he went onstage, but pains in his chest caused him to go backstage to rest, said media reports.He was found unconscious at about 1am and was rushed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3.49am yesterday of an apparent heart attack.Veteran singer and TV host Liu Ling Ling, 50, had been friends with Ah Nan for over three decades. She told My Paper: "He was a very good guy... He was my good friend."She said: "He brought a lot of happiness to everyone... He could joke with everyone."The last time she saw him was on Jan 9, when they performed together in Indonesia. Liu said he did not seem sick at the time.Ah Nan - known for his brightly-coloured outfits onstage and his "bad-boy Ah Beng" image - will be missed by getai organisers like Mr Tan Chew Lee, 65."We have lost a talent. I will remember him fondly," said Mr Tan, who had known Ah Nan for 20 years.Getai fan and polytechnic student Andy Neo, 19, said he was shocked when he read of the performer's death yesterday.He said: "He was quite a prominent figure in comedy shows and movies. (It feels) like someone you knew for a long time has just died."Ah Nan - who is survived by his wife and three daughters - was also known for his roles in director Jack Neo's movies. He appeared in 1998's Money No Enough, 1999's Liang Po Po and 2002's I Not Stupid.Mr Andy Neo first saw Ah Nan in Money No Enough."Despite his fierce gangster looks, he appeared to be a very nice guy and a good friend to Jack Neo," he said.When Jack Neo apologised for an extramarital affair at a press conference in 2010, Ah Nan went to his aid.As the press crowded in on Neo and his wife, who had collapsed, Ah Nan leapt to the forefront. Arms extended, he shouted for the media to zou kai, Mandarin for "go away", giving the Neos time to beat a hasty retreat.Liu said: "He was a very kind man... His heart was very soft."Ah Nan's chequered past as a loan-shark runner and gang member would sometimes surface in the media.But the performer - who was arrested in 2006 for taking drugs - also had close ties with the press.For instance, he worked with Stomp for its annual Getai A-Go-Go event.The getai community is readying itself for Ah Nan's wake, to be held at Block 254, Yishun Ring Road, until Saturday. The funeral will be held on Saturday.Watch videos on Ah Nan's death on RazorTV:Ah Nan - gangster-turned-getai star (1961-2013)Ah Nan was working till his last breath

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