Monday, June 15, 2015

The Day I Met Jackie Chan

DMMM students Kan Jia Xin (right) as well as myself (left) with Jackie Chan 

7 May 2015 – In our three years at NYP, this was the very first time we saw such a large crowd gathered at the atrium. It was insane, and people filled up every level, every staircase, and all the bridges facing the atrium.  They chattered excitedly, craning their heads, poised and eager for the emergence of a certain individual. Who could it be?

Well, it was none other than the renowned celebrity known to everyone regardless of their age or nationality, the juggernaut of Hollywood action blockbusters, and action hero, Jackie Chan!

Jackie Chan waving to throngs of NYP students passionately receiving him

Unassuming, yet dapper, in a classic red checkered shirt and a pair of glasses, he strode out with confidence, flashing a smile at every ardent supporter whipping out a cell phone to snap at him, while his entourage struggled to keep him within their sight amidst the crowd.

Jackie Chan whipping the crowd into a frenzy when he took to the stage

A girl perched atop a pair of shoulders to get a bird’s-eye view

Jackie was, of course, in NYP to kick off a Preventive Drug Education (PDE) mobile game application, aptly titled “Aversion” which is developed by our very own School of Interactive and Digital Media (SIDM) students in conjunction with the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB).

When Jackie Chan was approached to be Singapore’s first celebrity anti-drug ambassador, he gamely accepted.

“I will do everything that helps teenagers,” he explained in Chinese vernacular, during an exclusive interview with the media. “Personally, I have friends who have fallen victim to drugs, I have seen their lives spiral downwards and saw drugs brought harm to them. So, I will definitely lend a helping hand whenever given a chance.”

In public, Jackie Chan was also joined by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs, and PCEO Mr Chan Lee Mun. Mr Zulkifli spoke about how youths should fight against drugs, and play a part by using social media to disseminate anti-drug messages.

Mr Jackie Chan engaging the host and the audience

A short Q and A session with Jackie Chan went in full swing shortly after.

“I believe it’s a community effort. It’s definitely not possible for me as an ambassador to single-handedly prevent it just by saying ‘Stop’. It has to be a combined effort, from the community, the government, you, and the disciplinary action of the school,” he said with conviction. “And furthermore, crooks will do anything they can do to make money, including hurting people. So, we have to arrest them and give them a heavy sentence.”

The minister appointing Jackie Chan as Singapore’s first-ever celebrity anti-drug ambassador

Jackie also spoke about the vicious circle of drugs from his personal experience.

“Do not have the mindset that there is no harm playing around with less harmful drugs because you will fall into a vicious circle, and eventually harm yourself as well as your entire family,” he cautioned.

Other than listening to the Q&A on stage, students also got to lightly rub shoulders with Jackie Chan as he tried out the various interesting game booths prepared by our very own students from SIDM. He patiently listened to the students explaining how each booth works before having a go at them, bringing laughter and amusement to the students who flocked around him during the try-outs.

Afterwards, there was a demonstration by the Police K-9 Unit which simulated a drug bust operation, once and for all proving that nothing can escape the canines’ noses!

Lady luck shone on me that day as I had the chance to interview Jackie personally on the day of the event itself. It was an insanely nerve-wracking experience but nonetheless one of the best, most exhilarating, as well as fruitful experiences in NYP.

Up close with Jackie Chan, the first impression that was imprinted in my mind was that he is a very jolly and heart-warming person, very friendly and patient, acceding to all our requests. He made me feel at ease interviewing him and was more than willing to share a lot about his experience and knowledge about drugs, as well as some personal stories about his close friends falling victim to drugs, even bringing up his son, who was recently indicted for abusing drugs, as an example.

When asked how he defines success, Jackie Chan replied earnestly albeit ruefully, “I was born into a very poor family, I put in effort and hard work, and surrounded myself with good company. Now that I have succeeded, I impart the lessons I’ve learnt to youths. Sometimes success is hard to define. Successful people want to be more successful, and those who have not succeeded, covet success even more.”

“In life, your merits and demerits will be discussed by the future generation and can only be judged after death,” he added.

The interview ended off on a happy note and the gracious superstar thanked all of us.
Overall, it was a beautiful and amazing experience that is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We would like to thank the organizers of this event as well as the NYP staff who gave us this opportunity and allowed us to partake in this event.

We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the students who have successfully launched “Aversion”.

By Heidi Chan and Charlotte Ng, Diploma in Mass Media Management

Like every other girl, Heidi (above) enjoys shopping, dressing up and “fangirling”. During her free time, she listens to Korean pop, watches dramas as well as fashion vlogs and makeup tutorials on YouTube.

Charlotte’s (above) interests, hobbies and aspirations vacillate throughout her life journey from adolescence to adulthood. She dabbled with sports, music, art, but all the roads always led back to the one pastime that she has been patronising since the age of five - reading and writing. She enjoys reading/watching a motley of genres in books and films, particularly horror and thrillers. She wants to venture into film/studio production, or become a journalist in hopes of contributing to attaining world peace. She certainly believes that the pen is mightier than the sword.

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