online discount medstore
advair diskus for sale
buy advair diskus without prescription
allegra for sale
buy allegra without prescription
aristocort for sale
buy aristocort without prescription
astelin for sale
buy astelin without prescription
atarax for sale
buy atarax without prescription
benadryl for sale
buy benadryl without prescription
buy clarinex without prescription
clarinex for sale
buy claritin without prescription
claritin for sale
buy flonase without prescription
flonase for sale
buy ventolin without prescription
ventolin for sale
amoxil for sale
buy amoxil without prescription
augmentin for sale
buy augmentin without prescription
bactrim for sale
buy bactrim without prescription
biaxin for sale
buy biaxin without prescription
buy cipro without prescription
cipro for sale
buy cleocin without prescription
cleocin for sale
buy dexone without prescription
dexone for sale
buy flagyl without prescription
flagyl for sale
buy levaquin without prescription
levaquin for sale
buy omnicef without prescription
omnicef for sale
amaryl for sale
buy amaryl without prescription
buy cozaar without prescription
cozaar for sale
buy diabecon without prescription
diabecon for sale
buy glucophage without prescription
glucophage for sale
buy glucotrol without prescription
glucotrol for sale
buy glucovance without prescription
glucovance for sale
buy micronase without prescription
micronase for sale
buy prandin without prescription
prandin for sale
buy precose without prescription
precose for sale
buy cialis professional without prescription
cialis professional for sale
buy cialis soft without prescription
cialis soft for sale
buy cialis super active without prescription
cialis super active for sale
buy cialis without prescription
cialis for sale
buy levitra without prescription
levitra for sale
buy viagra professional without prescription
viagra professional for sale
buy viagra soft without prescription
viagra soft for sale
buy viagra super active without prescription
viagra super active for sale
buy viagra super force without prescription
viagra super force for sale
buy viagra without prescription
viagra for sale
buy celebrex without prescription
celebrex for sale
buy colcrys without prescription
colcrys for sale
buy feldene without prescription
feldene for sale
buy imitrex without prescription
imitrex for sale
buy inderal without prescription
inderal for sale
buy indocin without prescription
indocin for sale
buy naprosyn without prescription
naprosyn for sale
buy pletal without prescription
pletal for sale
buy robaxin without prescription
robaxin for sale
buy voltaren without prescription
voltaren for sale

Singapore Cinephile in Criticine
Saturday January 30th 2010, 12:49 am
Filed under: News

Written for Criticine – a love letter on a topic related to S.E. Asian film for an issue dedicated to Alexis and Nika. I wrote about Hai Leong’s love for Cinema.
- – -

Singapore film culture and community cannot be written about without mentioning Toh Hai Leong. He seemed to be at every major Singapore film milestone by sheer force of will. I have yet to meet anyone who loved films and was as passionate about it as Hai Leong was. He was Singapore film’s most ardent supporter.

I first met him at the Singapore Film Society screening of Citizen Kane in the early 90s. He was then the secretary of the Society at a time when film culture was defined by film societies such as these. I didn’t have the money to buy a membership but still wanted to watch Kane, so he sneaked me in. I have never forgotten that moment of kindness. From that time, sensing a kindred spirit, everytime we met, he would talk about the latest film he had seen, his writing (reams, long hand) and the latest festival he had been invited to (Hong Kong usually). He spoke very fast, spoke non-stop and spoke always about film. He was and still is my most intense brush with cinephilia. It was as if his life depended on it, and perhaps it did.

When film culture shifted gears into the video era in the late 90s, and film watching (and filmmaking) democratized beyond the Goethe Institute and the Film Society, many of us gathered around the Substation, an arts space which programmed our films. Hai Leong was there too. He hung with us wannabe-filmmakers, most half his age, drinking tea at the shabby S11 after screenings. He still spoke fast, and he still talked film with an intensity that could be scary. There was a hunger in him for friendship, for a community and it seemed that he found that in films and amongst filmmakers. By then, he was supporting himself as a security guard and living hard but he came, and there was always a seat reserved for him at the Substation. We met again at the 2003 Bangkok International Film Festival. He could not afford the plane fare so he had bussed overland for two days to Bangkok.

This is not an obituary but it is in the past tense. Hai Leong was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes a few years ago and, how should I put it? He lost the will to look after himself. He forgot his injections and he had to be retrieved from the brink several times. Something just snapped, perhaps his illness caused it, but along went his will to enjoy, to love and to care, not just for films, but for himself. Needless to say, he stopped showing up.

He now lives in a full-time care-center to ensure that he is fed, that he takes his meds and injections on time. I cannot bring myself to visit him but I am glad some of us in the film community still do.


This picture was taken by Ho Choon Hiong at Hai Leong’s 52nd birthday on 21 Mar 2007. Some friends in the film community took him out for dinner.

Back row : L-R Mdm Kwa P Y, Jasmine Ng, Zhang Wenjie, Charles Lim, Wee Li Lin, Kristin Saw, Yuni Hadi, Philip Cheah
Front row:L- R Ho Choon Hiong, Toh Hai Leong, Chew Tze Chuan

In 2007 Chew Tze Chuan made a documentary about Hai Leong’s struggle with his illness, called F. It premiered at the Singapore International Film Festival.