Retired actor Xie Shaoguang isn't a monk any more, returns to secular life and cooking

Retired actor Xie Shaoguang has resumed his job as a chef, more than two years after he was ordained as a monk.
Retired actor Xie Shaoguang has resumed his job as a chef, more than two years after he was ordained as a monk. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO
Former MediaCorp actor Xie Shaoguang officially became a monk in 2013.
Former MediaCorp actor Xie Shaoguang officially became a monk in 2013. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER
Xie Shaoguang winning the Best Actor award at the annual Star Awards in 2004.
Xie Shaoguang winning the Best Actor award at the annual Star Awards in 2004. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - More than two years after he was ordained as a monk, retired actor Xie Shaoguang has hung up his Buddhist robes, and is wearing an apron again.

Lianhe Wanbao spoke to him on Sunday (March 27) at Three O Cafe in Johor Baru, a vegetarian eatery where he has resumed his job as a chef. Although he did not deny that he had returned to secular life, he did not give details. "This is my business," he said.

Xie, 54, was one of Channel 8's biggest stars before he retired in 2005 and moved to Malaysia. He opened an animal shelter there and also cooked at Three O Cafe. In 2013, the news of his ordainment in a Buddhist centre in Pontian caused an uproar, but he kept a low profile and did not speak to the media.

On Sunday, employees in Three O Cafe confirmed Xie's return to secular life, said Wanbao. One female employee, who declined to be named, said: "I saw him wearing casual clothes a few months ago. Buddhist monks can be ordained seven times and return to secular life six times. His return to secular life isn't surprising."

Xie looked surprised when Wanbao approached him and asked for an interview. The reporter said: "You once said, 'People who understand will understand even if I don't speak, people who don't understand won't understand even if I speak.' Do you worry that other people don't understand?"

Xie said: "Yes, you know too." He declined to answer more questions and walked to the kitchen to continue cooking.