Last year, Andie Chen was a bachelor who had gone to Taiwan to carve out a career.
The local actor, who had denied that he was with Singapore-based Taiwanese actress Kate Pang then made the shocking announcement two months ago that Pang was pregnant and they had got married. Many had presumed that it was a shotgun wedding.
Chen, 28, who registered his marriage here on Nov 24 to Pang who was already two months pregnant then, revealed the real reason for his nuptials. He told The New Paper over the phone from Taiwan:
“I tried to explain this to many people, but I got tired of it because they find it hard to understand as it’s not socially acceptable.
“Me and Kate are not fans of marriage and our initial plan was to be together and start a family without getting married. Kate had gone off contraceptives six months into our relationship and we had let nature take its course.
“But when the baby came along and we took a look at the financials, we realised that without the baby bonus and Government subsidies, we wouldn’t be able to buy an HDB flat and that was a huge issue. I also found out that Kate couldn’t use my Medisave unless she’s legally my spouse...
“So we got married. But Kate and I already knew early on that we were life partners and that we didn’t need a piece of paper from the Registry Of Marriages (ROM) to tell us that.”
As part of Singapore’s Marriage and Parenthood Package 2013, the cash gift quantum for children born after Aug 26, 2012 is $6,000 each for the first and second child and $8,000 each for the third and fourth child.
Chen said that Pang went off contraceptives so soon because she was worried that, being two years older than Chen, she needed more time to fulfil their dream of having two children.
“The doctor said from the early scans that we’re expecting a boy, but that can only be confirmed at a later date.”
Chen said that the decision to get hitched was also partly due to the fact that he and Pang were public figures and they had a “responsibility towards the fans”.
Chen laughed affectionately when speaking about his wife. He said that Pang shared many of his ideals and perspectives on life and thus he was suitably impressed when he met a woman who, like him, felt that marriage didn’t mean anything.
“I’m an oddball and it’s not easy being with an oddball. But she’s an oddball too."
The couple had first met through their manager four years ago when Pang first arrived here for work and was introduced to Chen on the set of Channel 5 drama Fighting Spiders. They got together in 2011 and, three years later, are living together in Taiwan as newlyweds.
Chen said that they may hold a wedding ceremony in the future although Pang, who is awaiting the status of her Singapore PR application, does not really want one.
Said Chen: “Although we caved in to Government pressure and got married due to monetary pressure, I’m so happy that I met Kate.”
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