June 23, 2008

#10 Local Celebrities

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?


Aisya Shurfa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
*pandaaa said...

This is hilarious, because of the factual parts of the post. Though, I'm not too sure how to react to it completely, seeing as I'm part Chinese, Thai, Portuguese and some other nonsense, and trying to make it in the industry.

Well, seeing as they were all mentioned in our buku teks sejarah once upon a time, it works as Malaysian right?
Haha. :)

B.H. said...

Hi Amanda,

Allow me to extend a warm thank you to you for visiting the blog and leaving your comment. The fact that you have identified humor amidst the credence of these statements is a testament to your perspicacity.

While I am not in any judicial capacity to evaluate your credentials, I think that I can safely say your foray into the local entertainment industry would be most well received and warranted given your (actual) roots.

We will be keeping our fingers crossed that your star will rise soon enough so that you too can appear on this list. Till then, au revoir et À bientôt.

Nadia said...

Rotfl, awesome bloG!

but mawi is popular (esp among the middle aged women) because he emulates budaya 'timur'. u should add that. btw, is budaya timur going to be on the list?

B.H. said...

Hi Nadia,

Thanks for your patronage of this site, it is readers like you that inspire the list to expand and explore the many facets of our Malaysian culture.

I have taken note of your suggestion and will see how it fits in the site's blueprint. I must say that the prospect of writng about Malaysian cougars is more intriguing than our eastern influences.

See you around.

s kim said...

"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)."


oh you forgot that add that if one should not have heard of mentioned local "celebrity", he/she will be responded with a look of utter disgust, followed by a remark on "how you are not proud of being malaysian".
fuck la seriously how am i supposed to know or even give a shit from e "stars" of akademi fantasicta or whatever?

Trishomachine. said...

You took my advice and glorified Mawi on this blog! Hehehe.

fumbucker said...

Very true.How about those motherfuckers on channel[v]?I swear they're getting more sickening by the minute.

Malaysian celebrities have also another criteria-
Their personalities.Kinda wacky,kinda different but always cool.