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Seen but rarely heard, the woman who gives voice to VIPs
[Image: Tan-Lee-Bee-email.jpg]

PETALING JAYA: You have to hand it to Tan Lee Bee of RTM, the woman who’s so often seen but never heard and yet gives voice to the news and to the high and mighty.

She’s that expressive personality in the lower right-hand corner of your television screen, with a flurry of movements interpreting some of the most important speeches for the benefit of the hearing-impaired.

In her 35 years with the national broadcaster, Tan has become synonymous with sign language and is one of RTM’s go-to interpreters, having covered nearly every prime minister and minister.

“People always ask me how I learned sign language, and they’re always so surprised to know I never took formal training before I began my career.

“I started learning when I was a teenager so I could communicate with my youngest sister and help her not feel alone” the 59-year-old told FMT in conjunction with International Day of Sign Languages today.

She said her career with RTM had been filled with countless memorable moments, but recalls the former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s first movement control order speech as a particular recent highlight.

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