When I arranged to have a chat with Ian Fang last week, I wasn’t quite expecting the phone interview to be done in a mixture of English, Mandarin, and Malay. Yes, you read right, Malay.

It seems the Shanghai-born actor had such a blast filming and bonding with his co-stars on Malay drama Forensik, a Suria spin-off of popular crime drama Code of Law, that he would seize any chance to showcase his Malay-speaking capabilities. 

The 30-year-old didn’t just pepper his sentences with everyday words and phrases like “makcik” (auntie) and “lepak satu corner” (chill in one corner), there was a sentence or two that was too cheem for me and my very rusty Malay to understand.

Did you just google that, I ask. “No lah!” replies Ian, “last time when I went to Malaysia [to promote my movie] I asked my co-stars to teach me a few greetings in Malay.” Not bad, even though the grammar wasn’t always correct.

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