It was a triple fall that led to Li Nanxing’s salvation. First, was a “fall” in his career when he made a politically incorrect statement during his acceptance speech in an awards ceremony. Second, was when an dishonest manager swindled him of his investment in a business. And third was an actual freak fall from an entertainment center in Bangkok. He walked through an exit door that was supposed to be locked but wasn’t, and fell down three storeys, but felt that an angel cushioned the fall and minimized his injury to his foot. His christian friend had been praying for him. Later that friend invited him to the healing rally at Lighthouse Evangelism, and the Lord had mercy on him and saved him. He also saw the Lord deliver him from vices of gambling, drinking and smoking and delivered him from financial ruin. Now he is happy and debt free. Let me supplement what I heard with details from a report by Channel News Asia titled, “Li Nanxing once racked up S$2m in debt, thought of suicide”
Veteran Singapore actor Li Nanxing revealed that he once indulged in gambling, drinking and even had suicidal thoughts when he could not pay off his mountain of debts, said media reports.
Li told his story to a large crowd on Sunday night at an event at the church Lighthouse Evangelism where many showed up after hearing that he would be speaking.
The television actor reportedly said that he racked up almost S$2 million in debt after making a bad investment decision.
He explained that while he was quite popular the first nine years of his career, his career came to a virtual halt after he said he “was fine with it” when he went on stage to receive an award for his role in the 1997 drama “Rising Expectations”.
Li did not manage to get many roles after that incident and decided to try his hand in business, so he took out S$900,000, his entire savings from nearly a decade of acting, and opened a members-only club with his friends.
“I was the largest shareholder at the time! When I finally got a chance to shoot a drama in China, I ‘pre-signed’ a number of cheques and left my business partners in charge of the venture,” said the 45-year-old.
“The six months I was in China, I only communicated with my business partner over the phone. I only found out later that the general manager was dishonest. Besides losing my S$900,000 investment, I still owed suppliers and developers S$500,000. That S$900,000 was everything I had from nearly a decade of work.”
Things started getting from bad to worse for the then-penniless Li. He lost his driving license for drink driving, owed S$45,000 in taxes and even had to borrow S$30,000 from loansharks to avoid losing his house after defaulting on loan repayments in 2002.
Li added that at one point, he even had to scrounge for loose change to buy food. He only had something good when his pay cheque finally came in at month’s end.
Facing such enormous pressure, Li turned to gambling, drinking and smoking almost three packets of cigarettes a day to numb himself. However, this only served to land him deeper in debt and made him think of taking his own life.
“I did not have any friends, I could not sleep… I thought of suicide, to end it all with my death,” said Li who went on to describe those years as the “darkest days of [his] life”.
Li said it is only after he chanced upon religion that he was miraculously “saved”.
His business partner wanted to settle their differences out of court and offered Li S$210,000 while his creditors stopped going after him and instead went after his other two business partners. He also signed with a new management company and managed to get a number of jobs overseas.
All this allowed him to clear all his debt within a year.
“After that, I no longer gambled, drank or smoked. I sleep peacefully every night and have a better temperament. I am a changed man,” said Li.