Patrick Teoh

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Patrick Teoh
Patrick Teoh.jpg
Photo of Patrick Teoh, taken on 10 October 2008
Born Teoh Kah Yong
(Chinese: 张家扬)

(1947-10-16) 16 October 1947 (age 70)
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Residence Ampang, Malaysia
Nationality Malaysian
Height 5'4"
Weight 145 lb (66 kg)
Website Blog

Patrick Teoh (born 16 October 1947) is an actor and radio personality in Malaysia. A career in radio, TV, stage and movies spanning more than three decades has earned Patrick the nickname of "Voice of Malaysia", bestowed by his fans and the Malaysian mass media.

Early life[edit]

Patrick Teoh was born in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. He attended St. Michael's Institution up until Form 5.

Patrick's father took him and his mother to the movies everyday for the 9.15 p.m. screening. From this routine of watching a movie a day, Patrick learned to speak English by watching actors such as John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Henry Fonda and James Stewart. The habit of going to the cinema everyday stayed with Patrick until he was 24 years old. His personal record was watching six movies in a single day.[1]

After high school, Patrick remained in Ipoh and became a salesman for life insurance and encyclopaedias for a few years. Finally his father told him to 'get a job'. In 1966, he was having dinner at home when Rediffusion, a cable radio station announced that they had vacancies for radio announcers. Patrick applied for the position, attended the interview and got the job soon after. He was 19 years old.

Career[edit]

1966-1970s: Rediffusion[edit]

In 1966, Patrick joined Rediffusion as an "English Programme Announcer Grade 3", earning a salary of RM$150 a month. For the first three months, he was not allowed to enter the studio. Instead, he wrote scripts and picked out songs for 'Lunch Time Melodies'. At the end of the three months, he was allowed to work in the studio during non-peak hours, where his primary duty was to press buttons to air pre-recorded programmes. After six months, he was allowed to go on air, reading from pre-approved scripts. Within two years, Patrick was promoted to Assistant Programme Manager and a year after that, he was the Programme Manager for Rediffusion. A memorable moment of his tenure in the English Programme Department of Rediffusion was when Patrick was told by his then Department Supervisor that he would never amount to much in the industry because of his physical handicap (Patrick contracted polio when he was 7 years old). Patrick eventually replaced the man as English Programme Supervisor.

A few years later, Patrick was made the Divisional Manager for 'Sound and Film Services', a division set up by Rediffusion to tap into the burgeoning advertising industry. Due to a nationwide demand for Patrick's voice talent, the division did well and in less than 9 months, it was in the black.

The then-managing director told Patrick that according to the terms of his employment contract he was only entitled to a salary and all monies earned from his professional talents (which included being a professional voice talent) rightfully belonged to the company. But as Patrick was a model employee, the managing director would make an exception and allow him to keep 50% of his voice-over fees. Patrick, who was then earning up to six times his salary in voice-over fees disagreed with the new terms, and resigned from Rediffusion.

Voice of Malaysia[edit]

During Patrick's last few years with Rediffusion, Malaysia was going through an advertising boom. The government introduced the 'Made in Malaysia' ruling: 65% of the elements in commercials that were meant to be aired over electronic media must be Malaysian, or Malaysian-made. Hence Patrick was called very often to do voice-over work. So much so that at one point of his career, up to 99% of English advertisements aired over electronic media were voiced by Patrick. Thus he became known as the "Voice of Malaysia".

Mobile disco[edit]

Patrick was credited as being a pioneer of mobile disco in Malaysia. In the mid-1970s, the disco era exploded in the country. At that time, Patrick was frequently employed to be the DJ for private parties and similar functions. During an annual ball for the advertising industry, he was brought in as a 'support' for the performing band. The crowd reacted positively to the disco tunes that he played, and he was asked to perform for the rest of the night. After the ball, he was asked to perform at more private functions, spinning popular disco tracks. Seeing the popularity of 'mobile disco', Patrick started a company called "The Music Machine" for that purpose.

1984-1986: Newscasting[edit]

In June 1984, TV3 began broadcasting in the Klang Valley. Patrick, alongside Mahadzir Lokman, Wan Zaleha Radzi, Robert Lam, and Caryn Lim were hired to be newscasters for the station. On Caryn Lim's last day on the job, Patrick was her co-newscaster. Patrick mentioned that Caryn was leaving the station, then stood up and gave her a friendly farewell kiss on her cheek. Controversy ensued as the press (mostly the Chinese press) created a ruckus over the kiss aired on television.

After two years in TV3, Patrick found out that his news reading schedule was reduced. When approached by Patrick about his reduced reading spots, his editor informed him that from the following month onwards, they would no longer require Patrick's services. Patrick does not know the exact reason for his termination.[2]

1994-1997: Radio 4[edit]

In 1994, the new 24-hour radio station Time Highway Radio proved to be competition to RTM's existing radio stations. Hence RTM decided to re-brand Radio 4, and brought in new DJs such as Patrick and Yasmin Yusoff. Patrick's talk show slot was from 9 a.m. until 12 noon Mondays to Wednesdays. When Radio 4 went for 24-hour broadcast, Patrick also hosted a show in the 12 a.m. until 3 a.m. slot called 'Midnight Magic'. In Midnight Magic Patrick invited listeners to call in and tell ghost stories, a move that proved to be a hit among his listeners.

Patrick's radio slots became very popular, and after a while he felt that his programmes should be taken one step further to be a better talk show. However he was denied the resources to improve his shows. In 1997, Patrick resigned from Radio 4, and until this day has not returned to radio.

Controversies[edit]

  • January 1996: A listener from Penang called in during one of Patrick's show to relate his recent experience with a member of the police force.[3] At a roadblock, a policeman had stopped him for allegedly drinking and driving, and asked for a bribe from the listener. When he said that he did not have money with him, the policeman allegedly told him that he could call someone to bring him the money. When he said that he did not have a phone, the policeman allegedly offered him the use of his mobile phone. After the show, SAC Supian Amat lodged a police report against Patrick[4] under the instruction of Rahim Noor, then the IGP of Malaysia, resulting in Patrick being called to the police station for interviews. The media went to town with this issue; famous local cartoonist Lat drew a satirical cartoon on the incident which was published in the New Straits Times.
  • April 1996: For April Fools' Day that year, Patrick collaborated with his friend on a prank about ducks. During his radio show, Patrick took a call from an advertising agency (who was in fact his friend) looking for ducks to be featured in a commercial for a new snack. According to the person who called in, the concept of the commercial was to place ducks on a hot plate, so they would jump about. Other listeners called in the radio show to blast the ad agency, and the SPCA lodged a police report. When it was discovered that 'dancing ducks' was a hoax, the press went to town saying that Patrick was being irresponsible, and some even called for his resignation. Patrick's response to the issue was, "Can't you take a joke? Lighten up a little bit, you know."[5]
  • During a broadcast of 'Midnight Magic', Patrick hosted a show titled "Interview with a Vampire". This was in tune with the recent hit movie of the same title starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. A listener claiming to be a vampire had called in, and wanted to dispel all myths associated with vampires. The show received a very high listener rating. The next day, RTM received multiple complains from other listeners objecting to the 'promotion of myths', claiming that their children and elderly got scared from listening to the show. Patrick took a 2-week vacation to let the furore die down.
  • In January 2013, Patrick posted on his Facebook page condemning the PAS-led Kedah state government for then setting up restrictions for the upcoming Chinese New Year Celebration. His personal remarks were poorly received and infuriated some Muslims who accused Patrick of being anti-Islam.[6] Patrick has since apologised for his remarks and removed the original offending post.

1980s - present: Stage and TV acting[edit]

In the late 1980s, Joe Hasham and Faridah Merican set up The Actors Studio. One of their first projects was an acting course, and they invited Patrick to join. After the course, The Actors Studio staged "A Man For All Seasons" in which Patrick was offered the cameo role of Cardinal Wolsey, his first appearance on the Malaysian stage. Presently Patrick is a full-time actor and a performing member of The Instant Café Theatre Company.

Theatrical performances[edit]

Year Title Role
1991 Twelfth Night The Sea Captain
1992 MacBeth King Duncan / The porter
1993 Philadelphia, Here I Come The father
Death and the Maiden Dr. Rivaldo
1999 Accidental Death of an Anarchist Superintendent
Gross Indecency, The Trials of Oscar Wilde Queensbury
2000 Executive Spa Multiple characters
The Merchant of Venice Shylock
2001 Goldfish Tale Ah Kong
2002 Wish I Was There Old man
2005 Hamlet in Malay Polonius
2006 Julius Caesar Cassius
The Homecoming Sam
Frankenstein in Love General Garcia Perez
2007 Wrecks Edward Carr
2011 In Perfect Harmony Narrator
Undated A Man for All Seasons Cardinal Wolsey
Antigone Creon
Savages General Garcia
Life Sdn Bhd Parts I, II, III Multiple characters
Me, The Mortal Multiple characters
Stage The janitor

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1998 Return to Paradise Chief Justice
1999 Anna and the King Third Judge
2000 Lips To Lips Patrick
2003 The Big Durian Aloysius Tham
2004 The Beautiful Washing Machine Mr. Wong
Buli Tan Sri Michael
2005 Baik Punya Cilok Uncle Wong
Monday Morning Glory Police Chief
2006 Buli Balik Tan Sri Michael Supporting actor
Before We Fall in Love Again Master Wong Cameo
The Red Kebaya Choong
2007 Sumolah Mr. Honda
Bernafas Dalam Lumpur unnamed Cameo
Kinta 1881 Master Hung
2009 The Blue Mansion Wee Bak Chuan
2011 Hanyut Jim-Eng
Sini Ada Hantu Uncle Wong
The Collector Uncle Wong
Nasi Lemak 2.0 Chief Judge

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Network Notes
2004 Show Me The Money (supporting) NTV7
2005 Daddy's Girls (lead) Mediacorp Channel 5
2006–2007 Jazz Café himself, as host RTM 2 Music / talk show host
2007 My Starz himself, as judge TV3 Reality show
2008 En Bloc Lim Teik Beng MediaCorp TV series
First Class Mr. Gay Beh Song MediaCorp TV series
Dream Hotel Mr. Wong German TV
2009 Red Thread Kong Wah MediaCorp 40-episode TV series
Angel MediaCorp Telemovie
Ten-Ten-Ten Ensemble TV series for Tall Order Productions
The Philanthropist General Nyo NBC TV series
2011 Love And Death On Java Dr. Ling German telemovie
My Heart In Malaysia Patrick Lim German telemovie[7]
The Pupil Teoh MediaCorp Channel 5

Other projects[edit]

  • In the 1970s, Patrick hosted a radio show on RTM called "Kee Huat's Fantastic Facts and Fancies".[8][9] The show format was similar to Ripley's Believe It Or Not. "Kee Huat's Fantastic Facts and Fancies" was the longest, uninterrupted sponsored radio programme in Malaysia history, running for 26 years.
  • In 1984, Patrick started a post-production studio, "Addaudio" to be an indirect competition to Rediffusion. The company is in operation today.
  • In 1999, Patrick was appointed Dialogue and Voice Director for Walt Disney Pictures' first ever venture to dub a major animated feature film into Bahasa Malaysia, which was Tarzan.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Title Result
2006 Cameronian Arts Awards Best Actor in a Leading Role We Are Family Nominated
2006 Chinese Theater Awards Best Actor in a Leading Role We Are Family Nominated
2007 Cameronian Arts Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role The Homecoming Nominated
2007 20th Malaysia Film Festival Best Actor in a Supporting Role Sumolah Nominated
2008 13th Asian Television Awards Best Drama Performance by an Actor En Bloc Nominated
2009 14th Asian Television Awards Best Drama Performance by an Actor Red Thread Nominated

References[edit]

External links[edit]