Malaysians have a strong affinity for their local celebrities, so much so that a new one is born every minute. There are only two criteria for achieving celebrity status in Malaysia; mixed blood and/or good looks (talent is not necessary but would be a bonus). Foreigners with the faintest Malaysian roots or lineage are increasingly aware of this and thus head back to the country they always heard about from their parents at family dinners and bedtime stories.
The typical career progression for a hybrid Malaysian celebrity takes the following path:
1. Debut: star in a locally produced drama or comedy while modelling in local magazines
2. Ascension: host a series of trite and tested reality shows or music programs (borrowed foreign TV format), host short lived talk show
3.Stagnation: participate and/or headline local theater productions plus TV commercials for stuff no one wants
4. Decline: when looks fade and star wanes, head to radio stations and emcee at local events like university proms or Secretary's Day
5. Demise: where careers go to die; contributor to magazine and newspaper articles/ last resort: open tacky and pretentious, overpriced restaurant
Born and bred Malaysian celebrities seem to have more staying power compared to their hybrid counterparts. Although they too first find their fame in reality TV shows and TV soap operas, they have an added element to their celebritydom: scandals.
The truly Malaysian celebrity only achieves full fledged star status when he or she makes the front page and headlines of local press publications with a scandal. What kind scandal will elevate them to superstar status? Sex of course.
Many a Malaysian celebrity has been embroiled in some sordid affair which gets drawn out in the media and remains the hot topic on the average Malaysian's list. Unfortunately this reflects on the Malaysian's need to live vicariously through others' lives and has undertones of sexual repression.
Recently however, Malaysians have looked elsewhere to crown new celebrities. Where, you ask? Right here, cyberspace! What else do you think this blog (and thousands of others) are for?