Two kids, so we’ll see how it goes when Neia turns three.”
“I went to pick her up that evening, then brought her to the playground because I wanted to reward her for eventually doing the right thing and going to school. I didn’t want her to feel miserable.”
He adds: “Kids these days are very different from us. I learnt to brush my teeth only when I was six years old.
“But Nellie, who’s only three, has developed the habit of brushing her teeth before bedtime.
“I grew up in the kampung and my parents didn’t take any special effort to nurture any of our talents. They allowed us to pursue our own passions so long as we didn’t harm anyone, take drugs, steal, smoke… My sibling and I grew up alright.”
SINGAPORE IS HOME
Shaun was born in Pertang, Negeri Sembilan in Malaysia. He left to work in Kuala Lumpur after completing secondary school and arrived in Singapore in 2000.
Celine, a former beautician, is from Alor Setar, also in Malaysia; they met in Penang, where Shaun was ﬁlming The Journey: Our Homeland.
Nellie and Neia were both born in Alor Setar, but the family now lives in Singapore. For the past two years, home has been a rented apartment in Tiong Bahru.
The four-roomer sets him back by $2,700 every month, which is a ﬁnancial burden, so Shaun plans to apply for permanent residence for his family to allow them to settle here and pursue their studies.
When permanent residence is approved, he plans to buy a house in Singapore.
But the 25 per cent down payment, as well as the higher taxes and interest for permanent residents, means he will need to work very hard to save money.
“I’m a PR but my wife is not. So, I can only buy an apartment. If it costs $1 million, I have to cough up at least 33 per cent in cash.”
BABY NO. 7?
Shaun comes from a big family – he is one of seven children – but he laughs when U-Weekly asks him if he hopes to follow suit.
“Impossible… It’s considered incredible to have four kids these days,” Shaun says.
“Maybe three, but I need to discuss this with my wife. It’s already tiring having to raise
Shaun holds traditional values when it comes to marriage and family, and being at the height of his career didn’t stop him from remarrying.
It certainly didn’t seem to hurt his success in 2015 because he won the Best Male Actor and Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes titles at the Star Awards.
“Many people now choose to not get married or not have kids. But I don’t want to grow old without having any family,” shares Shaun, who was previously married to former host-actress Michelle Chia from 2009 to 2011.
“While I cannot expect my kids to deﬁnitely care for me until the end, as long as I know I have fulﬁlled my responsibility it’s ﬁne.”