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Hannah Tan — Animated

Hannah Tan
"I’m no poster girl. I don’t think I deserve that title."
Full name: Hannah Sarah Tan
DOB: October 25, 1981
Place of birth: Penang, Malaysia
Occupation: Singer, Actress, Television presenter, Model

Hannah Tan facts

  • Hannah is the face of Animax, the 24-hour TV channel dedicated to Japanese animation.

  • She holds the titles of pageant queen, ex-state sprinter, singer-songwriter, TV host and cover girl for magazines like Malaysia FHM and Lime.

  • She she was voted Malaysia’s sexiest woman in the 2006 FHM poll.

  • She is half-Chinese and half-Kelabit. Nah we don't know either.

Why we love Hannah Tan


Tell us about your role in Animax.
Animax is quite new in the region (launched in 2004). Part of the plan is to put a human element to it so viewers can associate with the channel. My role is to increase awareness and nurture interest in this form of entertainment.

Why do you think you were picked?
Animax’s audience is similar to my current fan base: 15-28 and into pop culture. There’s also a synergy between us. Animax’s tagline is “Be Different”; mine is “Making a Difference”.

Do you watch anime?
I do. Initially, it was tough in Malaysia because we didn’t have a channel dedicated to anime. Our only anime access was through VCDs...

You mean pirated VCDs?
No, no... We also get it via downloads. Now with a proper channel, fans don’t have to watch it the illegal way.

You were a top student. Why enter the entertainment industry?
It was by chance. I was spotted at a mall and was told I could make additional income from TV commercials. Thereafter, I was asked to host TV shows. One thing led to another.

Were you hot and popular in school?
There were more popular people than me.

You’re of Kelabit-Chinese parentage. Tell us about the Kelabit race.
It’s one of the native tribes in Sarawak. In East Malaysia alone, there are more than 10 different ethnic groups.

Are all Kelabit women as beautiful as you?
No, I’m not beautiful. [Giggles]

You very modest...
I’m half-Kelabit, but people say Kelabits are among the seven most intelligent tribes in the world.

You’re also ambassador for the World Congress on Information and Technology 2008 (WCIT). Are you a tech geek at heart?
Yes, I graduated in computer science. You don’t have to be in computing to know about technology. It’s part of our everyday life; even kids today know how to use computers. As a musician, my job scope extends beyond just singing; I also have to understand the IT aspects of music. Music is now in the digital era. We use technology to make music; and music downloads are on the rise...

Spoken like a true ambassador. The likes of Bill Gates and Kofi Annan will be attending WCIT. Who would you like to invite over for tea?
Bill Gates. He’s a business icon.

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