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Veteran celebrity chef Asmah Laili dies aged 78

Veteran celebrity chef Asmah Laili dies aged 78

Madam Asmah Laili, a well-known TV host and celebrity chef, died on Friday (Feb 15). (Photo: Facebook/Asmah Laili)

SINGAPORE: Local celebrity chef Asmah Laili died on Friday (Feb 15) at the age of 78. 

According to Berita Mediacorp, Madam Asmah died at Changi General Hospital, having suffered pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic lung disease, for several years. 

A mainstay in the local Malay culinary scene, Mdm Asmah hosted popular Suria cooking shows Sedap (Delicious) and Dapur Mami (Mummy's Kitchen), and authored a number of cookbooks. 

Mdm Asmah was also Mediacorp's (then Singapore Broadcasting Corporation) first female TV presenter, and had trained generations of radio and TV presenters, including during her time as a senior executive producer for Malay radio station Warna 94.2.

Hundreds of condolence messages flooded the comments section on Facebook, after members of the media paid tribute to Mdm Asmah. 

She was described as a "radio icon" by Warna and Ria 89.7, whose former DJ Dzar Ismail also wrote how the industry had "lost a jewel".

In 2016, Mdm Asmah appeared on Channel NewsAsia's Turn Back the Clock programme, in which she was challenged to prepare a dessert for her former colleagues using an old-school outdoor kitchen.

She had been depending on a wheelchair or walking stick to get around since her diagnosis, but did away with both for the challenge, walking around unassisted as she delivered bubur somsom to the former Mediacorp office in Caldecott. 

Mdm Asmah said the experience brought back "sweet memories of the past", which she described as "my moments of happiness, my moments of glory". 

Source: CNA/hs(mi)