Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Golden Path (TV series)

The Golden Path is a 30-episode blockbuster drama serial. Set in 1982 and spanning 25 years, it tells the story of a family embroiled in conflicts of interest, webs of deceit, love, hatred and vengeance. The drama was produced by MediaCorp in celebration of the company's 25 years of local Chinese drama production and incorporates scenes from past dramas such as , The Flying Fish, Pretty Faces, , Finishing Lines, The Last Applause, , Beautiful Connection and .

This serial was telecast on MediaCorp TV Channel 8, from 11 December 2007, weekdays at 9pm. The series finale aired on 21 January 2008.

Meaning of title

As the series revolves around the pursuit of wealth , the series was named to reflect that. Coincidentally, and perhaps intentionally, the first two characters of the Chinese title, "黄" and "金", are the surnames of the two main families in the series. In that sense, the title would mean "The path travelled by the Huangs and the Jins".


Ng Family

First Generation

*Xiao-gu - The pivotal character of the entire series. She is the matriarch of the Ng family. Xiao Gu's first husband, Ah Shun , died early, forcing her to raise her three children alone. She insisted on marrying Ah Jin against all odds, and adopts his two children when he commits suicide after a confrontation with the police.

*Ah Shun - The first husband of Xiao-gu. He died before the start of the series in 1982, and appeared only in flashbacks. His connections with the criminal underworld almost cost Xiao-gu's life very early on in the series.

Second Generation

*Kaida , portrayed by Chew Chor Meng , young version portrayed by Chen Yongming )- The eldest son of Xiao-gu. Always the most academically inclined member of the family, he became a medical student, and served as a doctor at a local hospital. When Kaida discovered the crime his brother, Kaijie, had committed, he covered up for his brother. The pressure of such a cover-up drove Kaida to insanity, costing Kaida his medical licence, as well as his love interest, Lu Simin.

*Kaijie , portrayed by Tay Ping Hui , young version portrayed by Ma Weihan )- The youngest son of Xiao-gu. He has always been the person who resorted to unscrupulous methods to attain his goals. He, along with neighbour Fatty Ying, tipped off police as to the real identity of Ah Jin, thus causing Ah Jin's death. Although Kaijie had lagged academically in his youth, he attended university, and entered the police force after graduating in Law. He has a love interest in his own adopted sister, Jinfeng, but when he made her pregnant, Kaijie pushed Jinfeng into the sea during a cruise, which eventually killed her. He eventually married Lin Fei despite the latter's affections for Jin Long, and went into hiding after his crime was investigated by his superiors, and was killed by a robber or an assassin at a hotel.

*Kaiqi , portrayed by Joanne Peh )- The only daughter of Xiao-gu, Kaiqi is a good-natured, justice-minded individual who aspires to be a journalist. She was only one who could communicate with Jinlong. When she discovered Jinlong's exploits in the underworld, she tried to persuade Jinlong to leave the underworld and return to the family, without avail. She marries David , who is a dentist, and becomes a mother soon after.

Jin Family

First Generation

*Ah Jin - On the surface, Ah Jin appeared to be a kind person, albeit with a rough edge. However, it is soon discovered that Ah Jin was a criminal who participated in one of the biggest jewelry store heist in Singaporean history. Xiao-gu, unbeknownst of his horrifying background, eventually decided to marry him, only to be pursued by the police on their day of their marriage after a tip-off from Xiao-gu's second son, Kaijie. His children Jinlong and Jinfeng were entrusted in her care after he committed suicide.

Second Generation

*Jinlong portrayed by Li Nanxing ), young version portrayed by Fraser Tiong )- The son of Ah Jin, he was entrusted in Xiao-gu's care after Ah Jin committed suicide. Throughout the series, Jinlong was resentful towards the Xiao-gu's family because of his perception that Xiao-gu was responsible for his father's death and that she used his jewelry heist loots as a springboard for her future business successes. He had a love interest towards Huang Kaiqi, but eventually left the family after the death of his sister, Jinfeng. He joined the triads in order to repay his grandfather's debts, and marries Bak Kut Girl.

*Jinfeng , portrayed by Joey Feng )- The only daughter of Ah Jin. She had been, in contrast to her brother, on endearing terms with Xiao-gu's family. She was not academically inclined, and always dreamt of being a celebrity. She was the love interest of Kaijie, who made her pregnant. Refusing to acknowledge the relationship, and unwilling to give up his chance at millions of dollars with Lin Fei, Kaijie pushed Jinfeng into the ocean during a cruise, which put Jinfeng into a coma that eventually killed her along with her unborn child.

Other Characters

1982 Era

*Ah Ying - The wife of Ah Lin. She operated a wanton store alongside Xiao-gu's cookery stall. She was a gossip-monger, always gossiping about others. Ah Ying held Xiao-gu responsible for Ah Lin's insanity, and became hostile towards her after her husband's arrest. She appeared several times throughout the show, often weaving a cleaver at Xiao-gu and threatening her.

*Ah Lin - The husband of Ah Ying. He is a cowardly man, and frequently abused by Ah Ying. This drove him into becoming the "Oily Man" : a man covered in motor oil who rapes women across town. When Jinlong found out, he attempted to blackmail Ah Lin, but Ah Lin could not come up with the money, and went insane. After chasing Jinlong, Kaiqi, and Kaijie across Chinatown with a butcher's knife, Ah Lin was arrested and committed to a mental institution, though years later he recovered, and began a life without his dominating and demanding wife, operating a Karung guni business.

*Chua Ah Hai - A police officer in Chinatown, a well-meaning but seemingly muddle-headed man who doesn't gave much thought to the idea of Ah Jin being the robber.

*Chen Ge - A close friend of both Xiao-gu and her deceased first husband, Ah Shun. He helped them out when Ah Shun was gravely ill. He was a member of the triads, and was betrayed and murdered by his wife's lover, Ah She in the first episode. Before he breathed his last, he entrusted a key to his hidden ill-gotten money to Xiao-gu via Jinlong. The money was destroyed in a house fire during a struggle between Xiao-gu and Ah She.

*Ah She - The lover of Chen Ge's wife. He ordered the killing of Chen Ge, and when he and Chen Ge's wife found out about the key to the safe that Chen Ge gave to Xiao-gu, they kidnapped Xiao-gu and Kaijie. They safe was found at an abandoned house, full of money, but a scuffle between Xiao-gu and Ah She broke out, and a fire was subsequently started . Ah She died in the blaze.

*Chen Sao - She had an affair with one of the members of her husband's triad. She collaborated with her lover, Ah She, to murder Chen Ge and set their hands on his ill-gotten riches. When they discovered that the key to the safe that held the money was in Xiao-gu's hands, they kidnapped both Xiao Gu and Kaijie. The money was discovered, but it was lost it in a fire set by Ah She in an attempt to kill Xiao Gu and Kaijie. Xiao-gu, after escaping the house with Kaijie, returned into the burning house to save her life.

1995 era

*Lin Fei - Born into a rich family, Lin Fei suffered from a grave illness with a bone marrow transplant only possible from Kaijie to save her life. She fell for Jinlong first, but married Kaijie after some misunderstandings arose between Lin Fei and Jinlong. Despite that, she still had feelings for Jinlong, and was in a dilemma after she found out about the dark secret Kaijie has been hiding for years.

*Bak Kut Girl - A runaway from Kelantan, Malaysia, where she was forced to marry a rich but retarded man to clear her father's debts. She worked at Jinlong's grandfather's bak kut teh stall. She is rough and brute, but caring for her friends inside. She developed a love interest in Jinlong, and eventually married him. She was killed by Kaijie.

*Lin Desheng - A famous lawyer in Singapore, his investments have earned him millions of dollars. Aware of his daughter Lin Fei's grave illness, he dotes on her and gives her free will to do anything she wants. When she was saved by a successful bone marrow transplant operation, however, his relationship with her begins to worsen as he starts to plan for her life. Unbeknownst to him, Lin Fei is actually the beneficiary of a trust fund worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The trust fund was left by Lin Fei's mother, who hated Lin Desheng.

*Lu Simin - Love interest of Kaida. She gave him up after his insanity got the better of him, and got maried o another colleague .

*Grandpa - The grandfather of Jinlong, who ran a Bak Kut Teh stall and employed Bak Kut Girl. His love of gambling got him in much financial troubles with loan sharks.He was almost killed by the triads,but saved by Jinlong.

2003 Era

*Old Monkey - Rival gang member who tried to kill Jinlong, but ended up dead instead during the attempt. Although it was an accident, Jinlong was nonetheless implicated for the murder, and was acquitted by the help of the top lawyer in Singapore, Su Ma.

*Su Ma - The top lawyer in Singapore, whom amongst the Huang family, only Lin Fei was able to afford to hire to help Jin Long in his case with the dead Old Monkey.




The series began in Chinatown in 1982, where Xiao-gu, a young widow with 3 children , opened and operated the "Happy Restaurant" roadside stall. Xiao-gu is an optimistic woman, even after the death of her husband and her tight financial situation.

One night, Xiao-gu received a visit from a young man , who was sent by a dying man to give Xiao-gu a key. The dying man, as it turned out, was Ah Chen, a triad member who helped Xiao-gu when Xiao-gu's husband, Ah Shun, was dying from a grave illness. It later transpired that Ah Cheng was killed by fellow triad member named "Ah She" , with Kaijie and the young man who gave Xiao-gu the key as witnesses. When "Snake" and Chen-sao discovered Xiao-gu's knowledge about the events, in addition to the key Xiao-gu received, they attempted to kill her and Kaijie, but the attempt was thwarted by a mysterious man. "Snake" gave up on his murder attempts, but kidnapped Kaijie to force Xiao-gu to give up the key she received. The key, as it turned out, led to a cashbox that was stashed in an abandoned house. The safe contained tens of thousands of dollars in cash. When "Snake" and Cheng-sao opened the safe and emptied its contents, "Snake" doused the house with petrol, in order to kill Xiao-gu and Kaijie, and silence the only witness to Snake's murderous deeds.

As fire raced through the house, Xiao-gu and Kaijie were able to escape, but Cheng-sao and Snake were still inside. Xiao-gu reentered the house to save Chen-sao, but Snake was burnt to death when burning pillars fell on him.

New Neighbours, New Terrors

As Xiao-gu and Kaijie recover from that traumatic episode, a new neighbour moved into the flat that Xiao-gu rented. Little did Xiao-gu know that her new neighbors were the young man who delivered her the key to Ah Cheng's safe - Jinlong, and his father, Ah Jin - the man who saved Xiao-gu from certain death by "Snake". As the new family settled in, Ah Jin used the money he earned to buy his children clothes, blankets, and a television set . Ah Jin shared his new television set with his neighbours, whose children were mesmerised by it.

Meanwhile, word of mouth began to spread on information about a rapist terrorizing Chinatown. The rapist, who covers himself in motor oil, renders his victims defenceless and unable to resist, thus earning him the title "Oily Man". Xiao-gu made light of the situation at first, thinking it was merely an urban legend, until she was attacked by the Oily Man. Luckily, Ah Jin was in the flat when it happened, and stopped the Oily Man from raping Xiao-gu. Jinlong, on his father's orders, went after the Oily Man. Jinlong subsequently discovered Oily Man's true identity. Oily Man was, in fact, Ah Lin, the timid co-owner of a wanton store next to Xiao-gu's restaurant. Jinlong went on to extort money from Ah Lin, with a threat of revealing the truth behind Oily Man to everyone. When Ah Lin failed to produce the money, Jinlong exerted more and more pressure, until Ah Lin lost his temper, and chased Jinlong, Jinfeng , and Kaijie across Chinatown with a chopper, threatening to kill them all. Afterwards, Ah Lin was arrested by Lao Cai, a police officer who lives and patrols in the area, and sent to a mental facility.


As time goes by, Ah Jin and his family were settling well into their new surroundings, but Ah Jin's past began to unravel. Contrary to Ah Jin's claim that he is a sailor, Ah Jin was, in fact, a criminal who, along with two accomplices, robbed a jewelry store. One of the accomplice, despite Ah Jin's efforts to save him, was shot dead in the midst of the escape, and a third accomplice successfully fled the scene with Jin. Ah Jin, along with his surviving accomplice, buried their loot in an undisclosed location. Finally, Ah Jin's secret came out in subtle ways, which led to Kaijie knowing about this dark secret. In the meantime, Xiao-gu and Ah Jin began to grow closer together everyday, and decided to marry each other.

This came, of course, to the extreme displeasure of Kaijie, who did not fancy having a criminal stepfather. To stop the marriage, Kaijie collaborated with Ah Ying, and called the police on Ah Jin. As Ah Jin and Xiao-gu completed their marriage ceremony and exchanged their vows, police surrounded Xiao-gu's flat, and forced Ah Jin to escape. Before Ah Jin went on the run, he held Ah Cai as hostage, and entrusted Jinlong and Jinfeng to her care. When Ah Jin realised there was no chance for him to escape, he committed suicide.


After Ah Jin's suicide, the area where Xiao-gu lived in was being redeveloped, and Xiao-gu, along with her family, moved to another area to start anew. Years went by, and by 1995, Xiao-gu's Happy Restaurant became a reputable restaurant in Queenstown. Her five children have matured into adults. All of Xiao-gu's three children: Kaida, Kaiqi, and Kaijie, went to University. Kaida majored in medicine, Kaiqi majored in Mass Communication, and Kaijie majored in Law. Meanwhile, Ah Jin's children are a different story. Jinlong did not receive much education, and worked in Happy Restaurant as a delivery boy. Jinfeng worked as a receptionist at the Happy Restaurant, but her dreams of being a television artiste virtually locked her in front of a television set, rendering her unproductive.

Tensions Within

All seems to be going well for Xiao-gu, but under the surface, arguments arise. Jinlong resents the entire Huang family because he believes Xiao-gu married Ah Jin for his loot, and that Xiao-gu's family is responsible for his father's death. This became a source of argument between Jinlong and Kaijie, with whom he was never on cordial terms with. Meanwhile, Kaijie developed an interest for Jinfeng, but due to the source of tension between the two families, he cannot make his feelings public.

Love and Conflict

One day, a woman came into the Happy Restaurant, and ordered everything there is on the menu. The woman turned out to be Lin Fei, whose father, Lin Desheng, is a famous and prestigious lawyer in Singapore. Lin Fei did not have money to pay the bill, but Xiao-gu laughed off the entire matter, and told Lin Fei to come back when she has the cash. She paid off the bill before she left Happy Restaurant, and began a deep friendship with Xiao-gu, and fell in love with Jinlong at first sight. Jinlong did not reciprocate the love at first, but gradually began to warm up to Lin Fei.

During a visit by Jinlong of his grandfather, Jinlong discovered that his grandfather hired a young woman from Kelantan to run his bak kut teh business at a local marketplace. Bak Kut Girl, as she is known, is brute and rude, but this is merely a facade for a kind and caring interior. These relationships began to ferment, until a fateful yacht trip. During that trip, Kaijie attempted to soothe a distraught Jinfeng, who was dealing with a relatively recent pregnancy furore caused by Kaijie. Under much pressure to keep the unfortunate event secret due to her fledgling rise to become a television artiste, Jinfeng was taken onto a yacht owned by Lin Fei to unwind and relax. During the yacht trip, Jinfeng discovered Kaijie's motive for dating Lin Fei: to gain access to her billion-dollar trust fund, which will be freed to her when she is married. Jinfeng vowed to tell Lin Fei the truth, and this forced Kaijie to throw her overboard. No one onboard the ship noticed until it was too late, and Jinfeng was in a Persistent Vegetative State when she was rescued by David and Kaiqi. This happened when Jinlong was in prison for assault, and Xiao-gu opted to not tell him until it was absolutely necessary.

Revelation, Coverup

When Jinlong was released from prison, Xiao-gu treated him to a big meal, before attempting to tell him the truth about Jinfeng. However, Jinfeng was dying at the hospital, and Jinlong was called to the hospital while he was out shopping with Bak Kut Mei. Jinfeng eventually died, along with her unborn child. Prior to the tragedy, Kaida discovered that Kaijie is responsible for Jinfeng’s death. It turned out that Jinfeng was using a camcorder when she was thrown overboard, and Kaijie, after discovering the camera had a recording of the incident on its tape, hid it in a clothing drawer.

Kaida covered up for his brother at first , but quickly, the stress and guilt that came with the coverup began to overwhelm Kaida. When Jinlong came across facts that made Jinfeng's death suspicious, Jinlong proceeded to pressure Kaida into telling the truth, which contributed to Kaida's mental meltdown. Kaida's mental instability led to his suspension as a doctor, and also led to the loss of his love interest, Simin, whose love was split between Kaida and another fellow doctor in the first place.

As Jinlong was alienated from the Huang family because of their perception that he was responsible for Kaida's insanity, he began to settle into an independent life. After he learned that his grandfather's latest gambling streak left him with a $100,000+ debt, Jinlong decided to enter the Triads to work off his grandfather's debt.


Years passed, and by 2003, all of Xiao-gu's children have graduated from university. Kaiqi became a television journalist, and Kaijie became a police officer. Meanwhile, Kaida, who is still mentally unstable, worked at the Happy Restaurant for Xiao-gu, watching television for the entire time he was there- just like what Jinfeng did when she worked for Xiao-gu.


One evening, Kaiqi was late for the usual family dinner that Xiao-gu had with her children. It turned out that Kaiqi, while doing an investigation into the triads, discovered that Jinlong was working for the Triads as an illegal bookie/prostitution operator, and that the triad member that Kaiqi was shadowing was, in fact, Jinlong's fellow member. Jinlong met with Kaiqi later to persuade her to drop the report. Kaiqi refused, but she stated that she will blur out the triad member's face. This marked the first time that Jinlong had any contact with Xiao-gu's family since his departure from the family, and into the Triads. Although Jinlong was still cold to Xiao-gu and Kaijie, Jinlong's receptive attitude toward Kaiqi remained the same, proven from the fact that as Kaiqi planned her wedding with David, Jinlong bought her a necklace.

Meanwhile, Lin Fei, ever wanting to meet Jinlong once again, even though she is in a relationship with Kaijie, decided to go search for Jinlong, even to the point of becoming a prostitute to seek out Jinlong, much to the chagrin and displeasure of Kaijie. Jinlong, on the surface, did not care for Lin Fei, but deep inside, he knew that Lin Fei cannot be dragged into his criminal lifestyle, and that he had to repel Lin Fei.

Triad Murder

In the Triad Underworld, however, many things are coming to a head. Jinlong's rival in the underworld, Old Monkey, was fighting with Jinlong for supremacy, and this culminated in a rooftop confrontation that ended in the accidental death of Old Monkey. Old Monkey's followers decided to testify against Jinlong in court to put him behind prison for a long time. However, at the last minute, a prestigious lawyer named Su Ma came to Jinlong's defence. Because of Su Ma's prestige within the legal community, it was obvious that Lin Fei was the one who retained Su Ma for Jinlong. Jinlong was subsequently found not guilty.


Meanwhile, Kaida began to recover from his mental instability, and this meant that Kaida is about to tell the truth about Jinfeng's murder years ago. Kaijie, determined to not let the truth get out, attempted to compromise Kaida's mental state, so that the truth never comes out. However, when Kaida was involved in a car accident, he finally told Jinlong the truth. Devastated by the news, and determined to exact revenge, Jinlong took up an earlier offer by a Triad elder to become the head of the Triads, thus paving the way for a showdown between Jinlong and Kaijie. This showdown cost Jinlong sight in his right eye, and also the life of Bak Kut Girl , who had always vowed to be alongside Jinlong at all times, even following him into the Triads. 6 months later, Jinlong found out that Kaijie had killed Bak Kut Girl in cold blood, and left her body to decompose in the woods. Lin Fei told Kaijie that she knew the truth behind Jinfeng's murder, and that Kaijie married her only for money. She comtemplated suicide, only to learn that she was pregnant with Kaijie's child.

Jinlong confronted Kaijie in an old warehouse, where Kaida and Kaiqi were also present. Under the persuasion of Kaida and Kaiqi, Jinlong decided not to kill Kaijie. Jinlong later collected Bak Kut Girl's ashes, scattered them over the ocean, and then committed suicide . As for Kaijie, his criminal deeds were discovered by the police, thus forcing him to flee from the country.

3 years later, Xiao-gu, mindful of the predicaments his children has ended up in, decided to sell all her businesses, donate the proceeds to charity, and restart Happy Restaurant at another place. Kaiqi now has a daughter, and Kaida has resumed work as a doctor, having completely recovered from his mental illness.

While all family members began their new phase of life, Kaijie, still fleeing from the law, called his mother for the last time, moments before he was killed by an unknown assassin at a hotel. Just before the end credits, Lin Fei was seen with a young boy, most probably the child she had with Kaijie.

CD/DVD Release

The Golden Path was released on CD/DVD in 2008 and is sold at some TS Stores Outlets -.

Viewership Rating

This drama serial had recorded the highest viewership rating for Year 2007.

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