Taiwanese host Chang Fei tired of paying his Buddhist-nun-jewellery-trader sister's debts

The Buddhist nun Hengshu (right), a former singer and the elder sister of Taiwanese variety show host Chang Fei and veteran singer Fei Yu-ching, with her purported Israeli diamond supplier. PHOTO: THE VENERABLE HENGSHU/ FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Host of the Taiwanese television programme Variety Big Brother Chang Fei says he has "had enough" after years of paying off his elder sister's debts.

In an interview with Taiwanese news outlet Apple Daily, the 68-year-old veteran host says that he and his younger brother - singer Fei Yu-ching - have shelled out a combined NT$200 million (S$9.46 million) over some 30 years for their elder sister, the singer-turned-Buddhist-nun known as Hengshu.

This comes amid news that the 69-year-old Hengshu is deep in debt to various loan sharks. She also posted on Facebook on Monday (March 16) to say that she will be flying to America to meet with Israeli diamond suppliers who promise to help her become Asia's largest agent of diamonds.

Chang says: "We give a support fee every month and over the years she has accumulated so much debt - between my brother and I, we've paid over NT$200 million."

He says that Fei and he helped to pay off NT$16 million last year and were shocked to learn recently that she is yet again in debt, to the tune of more than NT$40 million.

Chang says that though his sister does not gamble, she is often flagrantly generous, treating her religious followers to all-expenses paid trips.

She also is in the jewellery trade and often has to pay huge sums of money for the jewels. If she does not have the money, the suppliers charge her a high interest rate in exchange for the jewels.

He adds: "She has to start dealing with this herself. We cannot help her any more. We have had enough, we cannot let her stamp her feet on our familial ties like this any more."

Chang also says that she should quit being a nun if she cannot give up material possessions and insist on staying in the jewellery trade.

His brother Fei, 64, who has retired from singing after his final concert tour ended in January, also used to hand over all his earnings from his overseas shows to their sister.

"For example, if he was in Singapore for 15 days for shows, all that money goes to her," Chang says.

While Fei himself has not made a public statement about his sister, Chang made it clear that his brother does not side with her.

"Her debts are like an endless hole, we have been helping her pay it off from since we were young, it will never be enough."

He adds that the brothers have maintained ties with her out of respect for their parents, but now that both their parents have died, Chang says he does not "rule out the possibility of cutting ties if need be".

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