updated 27 Feb 2014, 06:56
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Wed, Jan 22, 2014
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Andie Chen: We got married for baby bonus
by Charlene Chua

In this new series, we catch up with your favourite celebrities and get a peek into their plans for the year.

Last year, Andie Chen was a bachelor who had gone to Taiwan to carve out a career.

The local actor, who had denied that he was with Singapore-based Taiwanese actress Kate Pang then made the shocking announcement two months ago that Pang was pregnant and they had got married.

Many had presumed that it was a shotgun wedding.

Chen, 28, who registered his marriage here on Nov 24 to Pang who was already two months pregnant then, revealed the real reason for his nuptials.

He told The New Paper over the phone from Taiwan: "I tried to explain this to many people, but I got tired of it because they find it hard to understand as it's not socially acceptable.


"Me and Kate are not fans of marriage and our initial plan was to be together and start a family without getting married.

"Kate had gone off contraceptives six months into our relationship and we had let nature take its course.

"But when the baby came along and we took a look at the financials, we realised that without the baby bonus and Government subsidies, we wouldn't be able to buy an HDB flat and that was a huge issue.

"I also found out that Kate couldn't use my Medisave unless she's legally my spouse...

"So we got married. But Kate and I already knew early on that we were life partners and that we didn't need a piece of paper from the Registry Of Marriages (ROM) to tell us that."

As part of Singapore's Marriage and Parenthood Package 2013, the cash gift quantum for children born after Aug 26, 2012 is $6,000 each for the first and second child and $8,000 each for the third and fourth child.

Chen said that Pang went off contraceptives so soon because she was worried that, being two years older than Chen, she needed more time to fulfil their dream of having two children.

"The doctor said from the early scans that we're expecting a boy, but that can only be confirmed at a later date." Chen said that the decision to get hitched was also partly due to the fact that he and Pang were public figures and they had a "responsibility towards the fans".

Chen laughed affectionately when speaking about his wife. He said that Pang shared many of his ideals and perspectives on life and thus he was suitably impressed when he met a woman who, like him, felt that marriage didn't mean anything.

"I'm an oddball and it's not easy being with an oddball. But she's an oddball too.

The couple had first met through their manager four years ago when Pang first arrived here for work and was introduced to Chen on the set of Channel 5 drama Fighting Spiders. They got together in 2011 and, three years later, are living together in Taiwan as newlyweds.

Chen said that they may hold a wedding ceremony in the future although Pang, who is awaiting the status of her Singapore PR application, does not really want one.

Said Chen: "Although we caved in to Government pressure and got married due to monetary pressure, I'm so happy that I met Kate."

Andie Chen says transition has not been easy

From not wanting to get hitched to becoming a husband and a dad-to-be.

Andie Chen admitted that the transition has not been easy but he is relishing the challenge.

He and wife Kate Pang, who is not working at the moment, now stay in an apartment in Taiwan.

They intend to have their baby, who is due on July 1, there.

Said Chen, who currently stars in Taiwanese drama Independent Heroes: "Life is different when you are a husband and a father. "I can't just do what I want because I feel like it because now I am responsible for my wife and my kid.

"This is the first time that I've had to share all my space with someone as this is the first time that I'm staying together with someone." One of Chen's priorities now is to take care of Pang and make sure that she gets through her pregnancy as comfortably as possible.


Pang has been having mood swings and is worried that she will put on a ton of weight.

Chen said: "She gets upset when she feels bloated so when she gets grumpy I have to know how to make her less grumpy.

"For example, I will keep telling her that she looks very beautiful when she's feeling insecure about her figure.

"As for being a dad, I'm quite calm about it, it will play out as it's supposed to be. I'm reading up on parenting books now." Pang, who is four months pregnant, can hardly see her baby bump.

Yet, weighing 51kg when she is 1.65m-tall has been taking its toll on her.

She told The New Paper over the phone from Taiwan: "I'm frightened that I will get really fat so ideally I want to put on a maximum of 10kg. I'm used to being 47kg so I'm not used to feeling swollen and plump. I blame the junk food that I was eating a lot of in the first few months."

Pang also revealed that she had a revulsion to vegetables during the first few months of her pregnancy.

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