Patrick Teoh

In the #3Questions series, we get to know the selected artists, performers and people that comprise the #YSDAF2018 lineup.

Patrick Teoh is a Malaysian voice we’ve all grown to recognise and love. Looking back, he says he had no idea he would go on to become one of Malaysia’s most prominent voices when he landed his first radio job at Redifussion more than 50 years ago.

Renowned for his brazen sense of humor and down-to-earth style, Patrick had millions of listeners tuning in daily to listen to his radio programmes. He has also made notable appearances in many movies and TV series, such as the nostalgia-filled Kopitiam, Anna and the King, Hanyut, and more.

This #YSDAF2018, Patrick will be conducting a Q&A session relating to the hard-hitting issues that affect Malaysians today. He and a panel of industry experts will be taking questions from the audience on topics ranging from abuse and homelessness to racism and sexism, and plenty more besides. So join them to uncover and understand the plight of marginalised people living in Malaysia, and to learn how the arts can play a role in empowering communities in Malaysia. 

Question 1

What’s your favourite thing about radio?


Radio is a very personal medium, whereas television is a very impersonal one. You turn on the television, you surrender your brain, and you allow the TV to take you wherever it wants to take you. But radio is different. It talks to you about the things that matter and about issues that you are passionate about. It gives you the opportunity to argue, to present, to debate, and to have your voice heard. Where TV is about absorbing what the community wants you to know, radio is about communicating with your community.


Slovak Sling is one of the 15 short films about Malaysia featuring some of the country’s notable directors, actors, musicians and politicians. Starring Patrick Teoh, alongside Harith Iskandar and Wong Chee Wai, the short is a comedic re-enactment of how one politician tries to entice another to switch party allegiance as DVD pirates look on.


How did you venture from being a radio personality to being a full-time actor?


You know Joe and Faridah, of course? Many, many years before they started The Actors Studio, Joe conducted an acting course. When he called me, he was short of one participant to start his acting course.

He said, “Would you like to come and join us?”

I wasn’t doing anything exciting at the time, so I replied, “Why not?” I went for it for eight weeks and had a good time. At the end of it, Joe says, “I’m going to do a production in a few months’ time. Would you like to have a role in that?”

I acted in Joe’s play called A Man for All Seasons, and fortunately for me, the reviews of my performance was good. After that, he put me in a couple more other plays, which also received very good reviews. Then, other theatre companies called me and asked, “Would you like to come for auditions?” That was how it started.

Question 3

If you could do a radio interview with any famous figure, who would it be and why?


I think I’d like to talk to Dr. Mahathir… because he is an iconic Malaysian figure. I mean, so much has been written and talked about him. I’d like to talk to him as an ordinary Malaysian on the street, asking him questions that very ordinary Malaysian men would ask. No questions about world economics, or philosophy, but about questions that would affect an everyday man.


Join Patrick’s Q&A session this #YSDAF2018 on 18 & 19 August, between 12PM to 1PM at the Pentas 1 Foyer of klpac.

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