Living It Large in a Small Space

Hossan Leong lives it large in his brand new apartment. By Redzman Rahmat

Comedian, host and deejay – those are just a few of the hats that Hossan Leong has tried on for size. And whether he’s cracking a joke on stage, hamming it up on TV, or bantering on radio, chances are, the forever-young personality will put a smile on your face. He recently left his position as a deejay on Gold 90’s morning show, but will soon be back on our TV screens with the return of popular Channel 5 game show ‘We Are Singaporeans’. And with a slew of new projects and opportunities coming up over the next few months, it seems like Hossan won’t be slowing down any time soon.

Hossan’s wacky personality and straightforward brand of humour has made him one of Singapore’s more popular and well-loved media personality, even earning him the affectionate title of ‘Singapore Boy’. But there have been times when his frank and sometime-controversial demeanour has raised eyebrows. “I just tell it like it is,” he declares. “It’s not that I’m trying to ruffle any feathers or be controversial. I just say things that are on every Singaporean’s mind.”

You’ve built a reputation for yourself as a comedian who’s not afraid to be risque. But what are you like away from the spotlight?

I’m quite quiet actually. I kind of have a dual personality – what they call an active/passive personality. I can be the life of the party or I can be very quiet. It’s not like I’m moody or anything, it’s just that I’m just as happy being quiet. People don’t often see that part of me, especially people who only see me on TV or the stage. I’ve come to the point where I feel like I have nothing to prove. People expect me to be a certain way, and when they see me on the streets they’re like, “Why is he so quiet?” And they think I’m very vain or arrogant. But I can’t be smiling all the time! They can’t expect me to walk down the street and smile to myself! If they want to say hello or take a picture with me, then of course I’ll stop and smile.

 

What do you love about your new home?

It’s a nice and cosy two-storey apartment, and I love that we have direct access to the pool on the roof. It’s literally at my doorstep. Initially, when I moved in, I thought, “Oh dear, it’s really narrow and small.” It’s only 860 square feet over two levels. And it was only after I had moved in, that I realised that it’s actually very narrow!

What are some of the challenges you face living in a small space?

I really wanted to make the space user-friendly yet usable. I’m now doing my work on my dining table, and it’s not ideal because you shouldn’t be working and eating at the same area. I saw this sideboard that can actually transform into a work desk. It’s not too big and it’ll be very handy. Another challenge was the bedroom. The cupboards weren’t very good – they only had two metal racks and nothing else. I didn’t even have a place to keep my underwear! So I ripped them all out and replaced them with better cupboards and mirrors to open up the space. I redid the bathroom as well, with cabinets and metal racks to hang the towels.

I notice you don’t have a television at home. 

I don’t really need it, and I don’t plan to own one. It’ll be a waste if I get a TV if no one’s going to watch it and it’s just taking up space. I’m hardly at home at the times that I want to watch TV. Let’s say, ‘We Are Singaporeans’ is on at 8 o’clock on Wednesday, but I won’t be home to watch it! But I can just watch it online the next day. So there’s really no point in it right now. But maybe in the future, I might get one. I’ve recently been approached by TV5, which is the French cable channel, to be a spokesperson, and I might have to get a TV then!

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