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The Straits Times
April 2, 2023
Local celebrity hairstylist Addy Lee, a co-founder of live-streaming e-commerce company Mdada, is leaving the platform due to ill health.
He made the surprise announcement to his nearly 29,000 followers on Instagram on Saturday, accompanying the post with a picture of himself on a hospital bed.
The Malaysia-born 51-year-old thanked his Mdada co-founders, Singaporean actress-host Michelle Chia and Singapore-based Thai-Chinese actor-host Pornsak Prajakwit, and said he was sad that he had to leave. The trio set up the business in 2020.
“I regret leaving at this time as I can’t bear to give up my ‘Mbabies’, but I know my health needs my attention,” he wrote.
Lee added that he had been struggling with health problems in the last four months, and said he had undergone surgery three weeks ago.
Doctors had repeatedly told him to rest, he said, but Lee added that he continued to work as he did not want to disappoint his supporters.
He did not specify the nature of his health problems, and did not respond to queries from Chinese daily newspaper Lianhe Zaobao.
However, his previous post on Instagram included more snaps of himself looking unwell in what appears to be a ward. In the caption, Lee said he “went to the hospital four times a month” and had three operations.
He also shared that his condition was causing distress to his mother.
“My mum asked me not to fight so hard. She didn’t need (me to earn so much money for her). Mum cried and kept asking me to go back to Malaysia to rest,” he wrote.
Another snap shared on March 10 suggests that he has been consulting an orthopaedic surgeon at a clinic in Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre.
Lee’s artiste pals – including actresses Hong Huifang, Pan Lingling and Priscelia Chan – were quick to voice their support in response to his most recent announcement.
Notably absent from the outpouring of support, however, were Chia and Pornsak.
(From left) Addy Lee, Pornsak and Michelle Chia founded live-streaming company Mdada in 2020. PHOTO: PORNSAKP/INSTAGRAM
When Zaobao contacted Pornsak, he was in Japan conducting a live-streaming session for his new e-commerce company Ichigo.sg.
The 41-year-old had himself announced his departure from Mdada in January 2023, attributing it to various differences between him, Lee and Chia, “especially when it came to corporate governance”, in an interview with news portal AsiaOne.
Mdada subsequently issued a statement that same month – that was also shared to Lee’s social media account – saying it was “deeply disappointed” about Pornsak speaking to the media about his decision to leave “without first giving them a proper chance to address his alleged concerns”.