“There are two types of sisters,” Shen-Tel Lee informs me when we sit down to chat, “the sisters that hate each other, fight over everything, parents have to buy two of everything. And there are sisters who are obsessed with each other, like Siamese twins.”
One need not guess which category Shen-Tel and her sister Elizabeth Lee-Yong belong to.
“Lizzie and I are basically joined at the hip,” she continues. “I have such fond memories of us doing everything together, from piano lessons to ballet, art school, drama, we have always wanted to be together.”
That was pretty evident from the get-go, when Shen-Tel and Elizabeth took their respective places on set. That bond was obvious; there was singing, there was laughter, there was praise – the kind that you can’t just turn-on for an audience.
The way they get on, an obvious reflection of the happy childhood they had growing up in Sydney, nurtured by their parents, Dr. Lincoln and Dame Betty Lee. They did everything together, both declare, so much so that even when Shen-Tel moved to Malaysia after marrying her high-school sweetheart Bobby Ting, Elizabeth soon followed.
One can only imagine the joy that Shen-Tel must have felt when the younger Lee said yes to Benjamin Yong, making Kuala Lumpur her home.
“I can’t imagine if she was still living in Sydney,’ exclaims Shen-Tel. “Although I am in Kuching and she is in KL, we talk to each other every day and send each other photos. There is always chat going on between the two of us.”
“Unconditional love and then some,” is how Elizabeth describes her relationship with Shen-Tel. “My sisterly bond and love for Shen-Tel is so strong that my husband jokes that if he ever wants me to do something that I don’t want to do, he just needs to ask my sister to tell me and it will be done.“