What’s the first thing you did when you came back to Singapore?
I ordered hawker food from this amazing vegetarian place that I used to frequent. Because I miss it so much! I even broke my intermittent fasting, which I’ve been doing for the past five months.
You know, I feel like a pig now because I’m eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. And I’m not used to it. I feel like a stuffed animal all the time in Singapore. But I do miss the food.
There are some great vegetarian restaurants, like Mott 32, Paradise Dynasty, Taste Paradise, but I’m more of a hawker person. I don’t really care for fine dining. I like it fast, easy, cheap.
Is there anything that has surprised you about Singapore after your two-year absence?
I mean, it’s definitely quiet. Obviously, things are more restricted because of COVID-19. But I think that’s good for the elderly and the young.
At the same time, Singaporeans are still the same. The national hobbies are eating, shopping. There’s so many new restaurants that I didn’t have the time to actually explore.
But Singapore is such a fast-paced country with so much new development that it’s always incredible to see. So I think what surprised me most was how fast the economy is growing and how advanced and modern things are, compared to the States.
You’ve been in LA for eight years now. What’s your favourite and least favourite thing about living there, compared to Singapore?
My favourite thing about LA is the weather. Honestly, it’s like its air-conditioned the whole day long, you can just sit outside and really enjoy dinner. In Singapore, I have to shower three times a day! The least favourite thing right now is that there’s so much political controversy.
My favourite thing about Singapore is the security. The government has done such a good job creating such a safe environment for us. The least favourite thing is – not that it’s Singapore’s fault – is that Singapore is small.
What have you been up to since you came back?
A lot of meetings, a lot of work. I look at my investments. I think what people don’t know is that I actually do work a lot. In LA, I’m often up till midnight to deal with my family office here in Singapore.
We invest in this space called Happy Fish. It’s a swim school for kids, adolescents and even senior citizens. We also recently invested in an Indonesian plant-based company called Burgreens and [its subsidiary] Green Rebel.
And I’m in the real estate business as well. Actually, just few days ago, I closed escrow with a friend. We’re getting this US$8.5 million (S$11.43 million) house in Malibu. And we’re trying to make it into something quite amazing either to sell or to keep. That’s my main job, not social media. Not the show. The show is just a fun platform for me, and to highlight important stuff, but the core of me is an entrepreneur.
I have my schedule packed since the day I landed, and it’s good. It’s good to keep busy, although I did enjoy two days off over Chinese New Year.
Being in this field, being in the limelight, it’s like modelling, where your runway is pretty short. Hopefully I’ll have longevity, like Naomi Campbell. But you know, I’m looking at this in a positive way where everything’s so fast that maybe this is my time to really squeeze everything in and work super hard and compete. I’m happy with whatever I’m doing. I’m having fun. I think that’s the most important thing.