Huang Wenyong's daughter blasts netizen for questioning late actor's place in wax museum
For Huang's daughter, Miss Nicole Ng, however, the moment was marred when she saw an insensitive comment about her father online.
The comment by a netizen read: "Why him? What contributions (did he make)? Just because he died?"
Upset, Miss Ng, 23, responded on her Facebook and Instagram accounts, calling the comment disrepectful and insensitive.
Huang is one of the pioneer actors of local TV, and is best remembered for his role in the 1984 Chinese drama The Awakening, in which he starred opposite Xiang Yun.
He died from lymphoma last April at age 60 and left behind a wife, a son and a daughter.
Miss Ng's post gained traction over the weekend, receiving close to 1,700 likes and more than 90 shares. Most comments on her post were supportive.
She "named and shamed" the netizen, adding in her response: "Initially didn't want to disclose this person's identity, but I couldn't stand such outward disrespect to my father.
"It's insensitive people like him that makes the world a bitter place full of jealousy and ignorance.
'IT'S NOT RIGHT'
"Everyone has their own preference, but it's not right to put people or things down just because it's not your cup of tea."
Speaking to The New Paper over the phone yesterday, Miss Ng emphasised that she was upset by the netizen's comment because it implied that her father was honoured only because he is dead.
She said: "It's very insensitive. My dad deserves more respect."
There were also some comments on online forums questioning Huang's selection over other veteran actors and questioning if he deserved the tribute, but they were phrased in a more respectful manner.
Miss Ng, a marketing executive, said she did not feel angry when people questioned her father's contribution to the local showbiz industry because everyone is entitled to his opinion.
"I have been used to comments and feedback from the public since I was young as my father was an actor.
"However, to imply that my dad only had a wax figure because he passed away is disrespectful. It is something that shouldn't have been said.
"My dad really deserves the wax figure. He was very dedicated to his job and acting was his passion.
"He went to work daily even when he was diagnosed with cancer, working on his last drama before he went to see the doctor.
"He always taught us that we should be responsible people, and that we should finish what we started."
For Miss Ng, her elder brother and mother, being able to "reunite" with Huang at the museum was memorable. They huddled around the wax figure for a family picture.
Huang's wife, Madam Teh Kim Hua, said: "I felt very happy for my husband when I saw the wax figure. There are certain angles which really resemble him."
Miss Ng added: "My dad is slightly taller in real life, though. I knew it the moment I stood next to the figure.
"They modelled the wax figure of him using photographs and videos we provided, instead of a real person, which might be why the height was off by 1 to 2cm."
Huang's figure, in the suit he wore to the 2011 Star Awards, stood among wax figures of prominent Singaporeans like former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and his late wife Kwa Geok Choo, actress Zoe Tay and home-grown Mandopop queen Stefanie Sun.
Huang received the Top 10 Favourite Male Artist title at the 2011 Star Awards for the first time after being in showbiz for three decades.
Miss Ng told TNP: "Seeing the wax figure holding the award reminded me of that night.
"My father was so excited and extremely happy. It was a particularly memorable night for our family."
Who else in Singapore do you think deserves to be immortalised in wax at the museum? And why? E-mail us at email@example.com with "Wax figures" in the subject head.
Local stars say...
Veteran local stars react to Huang Wenyong being featured in Madame Tussauds Singapore:
- PHOTO: MEDIACORP
XIANG YUN, 53
"I feel very happy for him as he is a representative of the actors from my generation.
"The wax figure is a tribute to him, and it's a form of respect and honour for him.
"It's also a way for all of us to remember him... Wenyong has acted in many local Chinese dramas before. No one else can compete with him.
"The netizen's comment is not that nice, and it is bound to make his family members feel uncomfortable and unhappy.
"As for me, I've never thought of having my own wax figure. Maybe in the future when I die, there will be one to commemorate me."
- PHOTO: TNP FILE
ZHENG GEPING, 50
"It's an honour to see a veteran artist have his own wax figure in the Tussauds museum, in memory of his contribution to society.
"He also helped educate and promote the right values and enhanced our local culture through his onscreen work.
"He had gained so much respect and support from the public and people from the industry.
"As for the insensitive comment, it's one person's opinion against those of the many who supported the museum's decision. The verdict is clear."
Museum: We choose people visitors want to see
Just who qualifies to be immortalised in wax? And who decides?
Ms Lily Lim, general manager of Madame Tussauds Singapore, said: "Our choice of figures reflects celebrities our visitors want to see.
"This is based on regular polls and feedback, together with extensive monitoring and research by our global and local teams."
She explained that Huang Wenyong was chosen because of the significant contribution he has made to the Singapore TV scene.
"Unfortunately, we are not able to incorporate every Singapore celebrity into the attraction," she said.
"We do, however, encourage visitors and members of the public to give suggestions on who they'd like to see immortalised in wax as we are always looking to expand our repertoire of wax figures."
Ms Lim said it is normal for visitors to debate who is and is not included in the attraction as everyone has their favourite star.
The museum selects public figures to be added to its collection annually.
Ms Lim said it is already planning for new arrivals for next year.