Those who have watched the Money No Enough movie franchise would remember a comedic, yet heartbreaking, moment in the second film between Henry Thia's character, Ah Hui, and late veteran Malaysian actress Lai Meng's character, Mother Yang.
"Ah Hui, have you eaten?" Mother Yang, who shows signs of dementia throughout the movie, asks Ah Hui in Hokkien repeatedly, despite the latter responding that he has eaten and is "very full" just a few seconds earlier.
Lai Meng died at the age of 90 in 2018, but she did a series of interviews with Malaysian radio station Eight FM before her passing.
A segment of the recorded interviews was recently played to Henry, director Jack Neo, Mark Lee and Regina Lim, who were?in Malaysia to promote Money No Enough 3.
In a Facebook post on Feb 8, the radio host at Eight FM shared that she had something she wanted them to listen to. The recording began with a dial tone, followed by Lai Meng picking up the phone.
"Hello everyone, I am Lai Meng. Everyone calls me Aunty Meng," she said, as Jack, 64, was seen mouthing "oh my God" as he glanced over at Henry.
"Henry still calls me 'Mother' now," Lai Meng said with a laugh.
She then continued by saying her iconic line from the Money No Enough 2 scene?"Ah Hui, have you eaten?"?in various tones.
Henry, 71, could be seen wiping his eyes with?tissue paper for a few moments and later with his fingers.
Lai Meng ended the recording with: "Thank you, thank you to the audiences for your love.?I really appreciate it, I really do."
The host said that Lai Meng shared in her interview that among the projects that she had filmed, one of the most memorable lines to her was this scene in Money No Enough 2 and the good times that she had while working with the trio.
Jack shared: "During filming, she didn't have many NGs ('no good' takes).?Henry had more NGs than her."
Mark also shared that the first time he worked with Lai Meng was in Ah Long Pte Ltd (2008) with Fann Wong, and he admired Lai Meng a lot.
He said: "Director Neo changes his script very frequently and she can handle it very well as a senior actress… In fact, sometimes Fann and I can't do it because we would get confused, but Lai Meng was very clear [about the script]."
Mark added that he was delighted when he knew that she would be playing his mother in Money No Enough 2 later and he was even more surprised by her abilities.
"She could actually remember all of our lines," he shared, adding that she would sometimes remind Henry and Mark about their lines and point out what they had said wrongly.
Mark also said that Lai Meng was a very responsible actress who was always punctual on set.
He explained: "Although she had difficulties moving around, she would tell herself, 'Okay, if the call time is at 9am, then I should leave home at 7.30am.' She doesn't want to keep everyone waiting.
"Although she was old, she still had this sense of responsibility which continued even until she filmed Money No Enough 2 and after that."
Mark explained that Lai Meng never used her age as an excuse for her work.?She would sit quietly at the side after filming her scene and was always very cooperative when they wanted to practise their lines with her.
"When we heard that she had left us, we were all saddened by it because we have lost another good veteran actress between Singapore and Malaysia," he shared.
Money No Enough 3, which also stars Xiang Yun and Tang Miaoling,?is showing in cinemas now.
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