Suhaimi Yusof teaching Lydia Sum Malay on TikTok: Sitcom writer recalls their chemistry together

Can you say "cincang udang dan bawang"?

Entertainer Suhaimi Yusof recently posted on TikTok a clip of a scene from the old sitcom Living With Lydia where he teaches a few Malay words to the show's Hong Kong star, Lydia Sum, who died in 2008.

Uploaded on March 8, the video has since garnered more than 350,000 views.

@suhaimiyusof_official "Cincang udang dan bawang" - when the late Lydia Sum learned Malay from Suhaimi Yusof #tiktokSG #tiktokmalaysia #fyp ♬ original sound - Suhaimi Yusof Official

Set in the kitchen, the scene has Lydia making har gow when she asks Suhaimi: "How to say har gow in Malay?"

He replies: "Har gow is 'har gow' in Malay."

Surprised, she says: "Same ah? Good. How to say chilli in Malay."

He replies: "Chilli is 'chilli' in Malay."

Lydia says: "Malay is so simple, easy. Now how to say 'add sugar and pepper according to taste'?"

Suhaimi replies: "Very simple. 'Masukkan secukup gula dan lada sulah ke dalam mangkuk.'"

She says: "What?"

The rest of the scene involves a frustrated Suhaimi trying to get Lydia to say, "Cincang udang dan bawang", which means chopped prawns and onions.

As day turns to night, the scene ends with Lydia finally saying "Cincang udang dan bawang" correctly and Suhaimi quoting from the movie My Fair Lady: "By George, she's got it!"

Suhaimi has shared the same clip before in 2020 on Facebook where he wrote: "This was my very first ever role as an actor (I was a host and a radio DJ) and my debut on Mediacorp Channel 5. I must say it was the most beautiful TV experience I ever had. In fact, I love Lydia so much, she was like a mother to me. Miss her a lot."

(ON SOUND) 18 years ago in 2002, I taught the late Lydia Sum some Malay words. This was my very first ever role as an...

Posted by Suhaimi Yusof Official on Saturday, April 18, 2020


The scene is from the fourth-season Living With Lydia episode called "Masak with Lydia", which first aired in January 2005.

The episode was written by Ms Stella Wee, who now teaches creative writing and scriptwriting at Singapore Polytechnic.

She told Stomp: "It’s like a memory from another life. I can’t believe I got a chance to work with Lydia. My mum was so impressed.

"I remember Lydia and Suhaimi connecting so well from the very first day they met.

"Their shared passion – food! I overheard Suhaimi telling her about the best rendang and soup tulang in Singapore."

"I loved writing scenes just for the two of them. When they played off each other, that energy… kaboom! They made me look good."

Ms Wee said that after someone sent her the link to Suhaimi's TikTok, she shared it with her colleagues.

"The two of them are STILL making me look good."

Living With Lydia aired from 2001 to 2005 over four seasons.

As one netizen commented on Suhaimi's TikTok: "They don't make sitcoms like this anymore."