Besides co-hosting the Sheng Siong Show with Kym Ng, Dasmond Koh mostly works behind the camera as a producer and co-founder of artiste management company, NoonTalk Media.
Earlier this week, Koh publicly asked Singaporean actor Elvin Ng via social media on Apr. 12 to clarify an "incident" between him and actress Angel Lim, who is managed by NoonTalk Media.
On this week's episode of "The Inner Circle", it was Koh's turn to discuss his career in showbiz thus far, including his very strict mentoring and management of junior artistes at NoonTalk Media.
No flip-flops in public
NoonTalk Media artiste Zong Zijie who appeared on the episode as a guest acknowledged the many rules that the 49-year-old Koh has for his artistes.
Zong cited examples including no romantic relationships, no alcohol consumption outside, and no wearing of flip-flops out in public.
When Guo asked Koh to explain the bizarre rule against flip-flops, the latter appeared surprised.
"It's an image issue, there is nothing to explain," Koh said.
"We've learnt from a previous situation. If you happen to be in a sloppy attire when you're walking outside and you bump into some head of publicity or marketing manager. They would later come back to us and say, 'We don't really want this person as his image outside is like this.'"
In response to the no-dating rule, Koh clarified that there is no age restriction. Instead, NoonTalk takes into consideration the career stage of the artiste.
"If someone who has achieved decent results and reached some level of status at 25 and 26 years of age, they can have a romantic relationship as they are proceeding to the next stage in life."
However, Koh also mentioned that NoonTalk artiste Xu Bin had managed to get married and have children despite the rules. He admitted that he does close one eye "to some extent, as long as [the artistes] don't cause trouble".
"The moment you cause any trouble and I have to say something, there will not be a good ending," Koh added.
It appears that Koh also fusses over his artistes' posture, according to Zong.
"Sometimes, when we are waiting, we would rest our face on our palm. He would smack our hands away and say, 'Your face will get wrinkles.'"
Both Koh and Zong laughed as Guo looked on in amusement and confusion.
Koh countered by claiming that there is scientific proof that wrinkles will form when one constantly pushes their cheeks upwards.
"So whenever they do that, I'd [smack] and say, 'What are you doing?'"
Toughening up by humiliation
But despite Koh's strict rules, Zong insisted that NoonTalk operates more like "a big family".
However, he recognised the higher likelihood of friction as the company expands. He said Koh would always address any problems immediately to maintain peace so the company remains close-knit.
The younger actor disclosed that he initially disagreed with some of Koh's methods and questioned if they were a bit extreme or harsh on others.
For example, Koh has no qualms about pointing out someone's error in front of others.
Koh justified his actions by saying, "I believe it is important for artistes to toughen up mentally," and admitted that he deliberately humiliates them.
"If you're on set and you encounter a director who would yell at you in front of the crew, you may become embarrassed and unable to perform. However, if you've already been scolded by me like that at the office with everyone watching, you would gain this experience that toughens you up mentally. When you are able to set aside your humiliation and perform your job well, then my objective has been achieved."
Grew closer over adversity
Kenny Pang, the older brother of late actor Aloysius Pang, was also a guest on the talk show. He described Koh as "a strong pillar to those around him".
Pang praised Koh for taking care of the family after Aloysius' passing in 2019, disclosing that Aloysius's accident two years brought him and Koh closer together.
Hence, they have been keeping in touch over the past two years and check in on each other regularly.
Top images via meWATCH.