Singapore's elite rich are far from insane


The author whose book inspired the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians could face fines and/or imprisonment for not completing his national service obligations in Singapore, the New York Times reports.

The movie is based on the best-selling novel by Singapore-born author Kevin Kwan.

The film had its Singapore premiere on Tuesday night ahead of local release on Wednesday but Kwan was not among the cast or crew in attendance.

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The film, directed by Jon M. Chu, has been widely praised as a breakthrough for Asian-American and southeast Asian representation at the US box office, where the last film with an all-Asian cast was 1993's The Joy Luck Club.

"Mr Kevin Kwan failed to register for NS in 1990 despite letters sent to his overseas address", said the Ministry in a statement sent to the BBC. He reportedly applied twice to renounce his citizenship at a later date, but was rejected as he had not served in the military.

"He also stayed overseas without a valid exit permit", the official added.

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Singapore's ultra-wealthy often lead more conservative, low-key existences than their peers in other parts of Asia.

"Crazy Rich Asians" has been hailed as a milestone for Asian representation in pop culture, featuring the first majority Asian cast for a mainstream Hollywood studio movie since 1993′s "The Joy Luck Club". Being on Nick's arm puts a target on Rachel's back, with jealous socialites and, worse, Nick's own disapproving mother (Michelle Yeoh) taking aim.

Crazy Rich Asians may be going gangbusters at the USA box office but that won't stop Singapore authorities from reminding author Kevin Kwan that rules are rules.

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Crazy Rich Asians features an global cast of stars, led by Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat), Gemma Chan (Humans), Lisa Lu (2012), and Awkwafina (upcoming Ocean's 8, Neighbors 2), with Ken Jeong (the Hangover films) and Michelle Yeoh (Star Trek: Discovery, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).