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
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.