Malaysian people take themselves seriously and need attention like John McCain needs the fountain of youth. But there isn't always an avenue or platform for them to show the world how talented, intelligent and charming they are. For this reason, Malaysian people decided to adapt foreign reality shows. You see, this is a win-win situation for Malaysian people, it takes both their liking for adapted foreign influences and self promotion and churns it into a half hour TV programme for mass consumption. This is a surefire way to propel someone normal and average into the public spotlight and add to the list of local celebrities Malaysians adore.
The type of reality shows Malaysia produce mostly revolve around dating, modelling, performing and even business ala The Apprentice. However the term "reality" on these shows is used very loosely since most of the participants are anything but real. However, any Malaysian reality programme produced must adhere strictly to the Three Malaysian Principles of Reality Programming:
1) Piracy - the concept which is borrowed and reinvented
2) Pretense - the prerequisite attitude of participants
3) "Perasan"- the Malay term which carries the connotation of being conceited
These three principles are key to ensuring the success of a Malaysian reality programme and in giving birth to the careers and prominence of more Malaysian talents. The path of a Malaysian reality TV star is one that is slowly gaining credence as it does not require any work or any skill as compared to a Badminton player or Politician but ensures a certain level of visibility.
If you should ever come across a Malaysian reality star, immediately acknowledge that they were your favourite contestant on the show and (if they didn't win) assure them that they were robbed of the win because of production politics, biased editing or technical voting errors. You will then be invited to their local theater debut or next showcase at the Hard Rock Cafe.
Thanks to Ms.Lime for advocating this piece.