REL­A­TIVE VAL­UES

For­mer MTV Asia VJs Teh May Wan and Choy Wan – May and Choy – are iden­ti­cal twins, but they’re not two peas in a pod, the 31-year-olds tell AZLINDA SAID

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Twins and for­mer VJs May and Choy talk about life, love and sib­ling rivalry.

Who’s the more dom­i­nant twin? May: (to Choy) Don’t point your fin­ger at me! Choy: May wasn’t dom­i­nant in a hor­ri­ble way. But be­ing older by a minute, she had the “older sis­ter syn­drome”. If I wanted to do some­thing, she’d al­ways have a say in it. Did peo­ple mix you both up all the time? Choy: When we were young, yes, al­though not our im­me­di­ate fam­ily and close friends. Give us a clue to tell you apart. Choy: I have a mole on my cheek; May doesn’t. But when we hit our teens, our faces changed a lit­tle more. My chin be­came longer and sharper, while May’s chin was a bit more squar­ish. Did peo­ple see and treat you two dif­fer­ently? Choy: May is pret­tier – she has bet­ter bone struc­ture and sharper fea­tures. Her frame is smaller and when we were younger, peo­ple al­ways asked me: “Your sis­ter is small – why aren’t you the same size?” May: At one point, Choy was 10kg heav­ier than me. Ev­ery­one used to say: “Oh Choy, she’s the big one, that poor thing. She got all the fats.” Choy: When we were both mod­el­ling, May booked more jobs than I did. Be­ing her iden­ti­cal twin, it stung a lot. When May was busy, she’d ask clients to use me in­stead. But they’d go: “I pre­fer your look”, and that made me feel bad about my­self. May: You broke down once or twice, I re­mem­ber. I’m now a mum of two (daugh­ters Leala, three, and Siena, two). I al­ways tell my hus­band not to com­pare our girls, as I don’t want them to grow up with that kind of stigma. Did the two of you fight a lot? May: We were very petty. We used to fight even over the small­est things. Choy: Even into our teens, we used to call each other names and slap or scratch the other when we quar­relled. Do you get along now? Choy: Yes, we’ve mel­lowed with age. I’m still a lit­tle bit big­ger than May. But she’ll say to me: “You look bet­ter

in this dress be­cause you have more curves to fill it out.” So we bal­ance out the good and the bad.

When we got older, we stopped fight­ing so much. Af­ter univer­sity in Aus­tralia, we were sep­a­rated for about a year and a half, be­cause Choy went back to get her sec­ond de­gree while I stayed in Malaysia to pur­sue mod­el­ling. We ap­pre­ci­ated each other more be­cause it was hard for us to be apart for so long.

Choy: We be­came more manja (Malay for af­fec­tion­ate) to­wards each other. Our re­la­tion­ship has evolved, com­pared to maybe 10 years ago. Now, when­ever we fight (which we rarely do), we walk away be­fore we say any­thing that we may re­gret. Deep down in­side, we know we are ca­pa­ble of hurt­ing each other the most, as we know each other so well. So we don’t want to let it get to that point.

Did you ever fight over boys?

Both: No. May: And we never played that game ei­ther, where twins would swop iden­ti­ties and go out with each other’s boyfriends for the fun of it.

Choy: May has al­ways been the re­la­tion­ship girl.

May: I only had three ma­jor re­la­tion­ships be­fore my hus­band came along. They all hap­pened nat­u­rally – I’ve never been in sit­u­a­tions where I went to a bar and met some­one…

Choy: There’s noth­ing wrong with meet­ing guys in a bar!

May: Yes, but I just never liked that. It’s al­ways been, I know this guy through a friend and we got to­gether from there.

Choy: May lived vi­car­i­ously through my sto­ries (laughs).

Do you share the same taste in men?

May: Well, she used to tease me about mar­ry­ing an In­done­sian guy, but now, she’s madly in love with one! (laughs) We al­ways end up with the same things, some­how.

Choy: It’s so ironic. Maybe twins are meant to share the same fate. We’ve dated rock­ers and singers at the same time. And our part­ners usu­ally end up hav­ing the same traits. It’s so odd.

May: My hus­band has a brother, a sis­ter and a mas­sive ex­tended fam­ily. So does Choy’s cur­rent boyfriend of two years. I al­ways laugh at her, say­ing that she’ll end up fol­low­ing in my foot­steps. Choy, you may end up hav­ing two girls, just like me.

Choy, how did you cope with liv­ing on your own when May got mar­ried four years ago?

Choy: It was hard ini­tially. I re­sented my brother-in-law dur­ing the first two years of their courtship. I knew the re­la­tion­ship was se­ri­ous and I felt he was tak­ing my sis­ter away from me. Be­fore he came along, we did ev­ery­thing to­gether.

May: My hus­band was so nice to her. He un­der­stood how she felt and tried to com­pen­sate for it but she didn’t re­spond. That was then – they get along now.

Choy: Af­ter May got mar­ried and moved to Jakarta, I had to move on. We used to share a big apart­ment, so I moved to a smaller one. I also made new friends – May and I used to have the same group of friends, but now I’ve got my own set of pals. So al­though she and her fam­ily are back in Sin­ga­pore now and we still spend time to­gether, we also have sep­a­rate lives.

So do you share se­crets too?

Choy: Yes, but there are some things that I save for my friends who are still sin­gle (laughs). Be­cause when you talk to your mar­ried sis­ter who has chil­dren, she takes the per­spec­tive of a mum. May’s not judge­men­tal, but when I was still sin­gle and some­thing hap­pened to me, I’d call my sin­gle friends first. And May would say, “Why am I the last one to know?” Rel­a­tive Val­ues is a col­umn in which a per­son­al­ity and a fam­ily mem­ber give us in­sights into their re­la­tion­ship.

Choy (left) and May had their share of cat­fights while grow­ing up – but never over boys.

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