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Pamela Pak Wan-kam
Pamela Pak Wan-kam‘s name has appeared in tabloids for most of her life. From offering blunt relationship advice on her late-night radio show in the 1980s to posing semi-nude in magazines in her 50s and being the girlfriend of legislator Paul Tse, 15 years her junior, she is never without controversy. She talks to June Ng about love, marriage and eugenics.

By June Ng | Feb 05, 2009

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  • Pamela Pak Wan-kam
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I came to Hong Kong from China when I was 3 months old. My dad died and my mom couldn’t support me. So my wet nurse took me to live with my mom’s sister.

My uncle was dissolute and would often bring girlfriends home. But my aunt was always calm, and would even make friends with the girls. It’s hard to believe, but those girls would always be touched by my aunt and leave.

Grown-ups, both men and women, can be so unfaithful to their partners. As a kid I would wonder, how come Mr. Lee and Mrs. Chan were cuddling in bed?

I eloped with a boy when I was in Form 5, and in doing so I missed my Hong Kong Certificate of Education Exam (HKCEE). Social workers labeled me a problem case. But actually, I’d always studied well.

I became a flight attendant and hosted radio programs when I wasn’t flying. But after three years I decided to go back to school. Eventually I studied TV broadcasting at the graduate school of San Francisco State University.

I didn’t get into TV when I came back to Hong Kong. The TV industry here is all about mingling with influential people. I’m much too independent for that.

My career path has been full of obstacles, simply because I’m too blunt for Chinese society. Looking back, I wish I could have been more slick.

My show “Talk of the Town” allowed people to discuss their love lives openly on air. I fought so hard to get the show. I even offered myself as a DJ for free.

Everyone needs outsiders to give them advice, because outsiders can be more objective about the whole situation.

Over the years, the most common problem I’ve heard is, “my husband had an affair with someone else and took all my money,” or vice versa from a few good men.

I’ve never encouraged people to get divorced. What I actually say is you have to calculate the costs and benefits. People take this out of context.

If you’re in your 50s, have a few kids and are not self-sufficient, forget about it. Just treat your husband as your boss instead.

Marriage is about fate. If a couple is bound to be together, no one can set them apart. But if it’s time for a couple to drift apart, it’s pointless to try to force them together.

Love only lasts for three months. It’s all about passion at the beginning. Afterwards it’s all about how you maintain a relationship.

Age is my last concern when I fall in love.

Paul and I have been together for more than a decade. He’s had so many setbacks, and deep down I know he thinks it’s related to me, and that his life would be much better without me.

I’m so obedient to Paul. No matter what he wants to do, I always let him have his way.

Only people with debts in a past life would have kids in this life. Kids are debt collectors. You raise them, clean them, feed them and what do you get in return?

I’m all for eugenics. If people have to register to get married, they should have to register to have babies too. They should take an exam to see if they’re qualified to be parents. Some people can’t even discipline themselves. How are they supposed to raise children?

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