Media Malays

Lately there has been a war of words between Malaysian singer Shila Amzah, who came in third in the Chinese reality audition show “I Am a Singer” earlier this year, and the Malaysian media.


Apparently, when Amzah gave a concert in Malaysia last month she failed to invite the media, which sparked a rash of online comments slamming the singer, including calls to boycott her work.

In response, Amzah and her father, ND Lala, who is also her manager, flew back to China and held a press conference, during which Lala stated, “It’s all right if you write gossip, we can accept that. But this is defamation.”

Amzah’s rising popularity is pinned to not only her attractive appearance and high-pitched singing voice, but to a work ethic that has been matched with success.

The Malay Chronicle reports that she has “won glory for Malaysia” without having to resort to any form of government assistance.

What’s unexpected is that some people have twisted this accomplishment and say that her victory in China shows that she is “forgetting her own country and identity.”

They question her patriotism, because she has developed her career in China, not Malaysia. Another problem is the self-serving style of Chinese media, which tends to frame success such as Amzah’s with its own parameters.

The massive attention that Amzah received in China backfired in Malaysia, where the local media felt shut out. As more Asian artists cross borders, this will likely become more of a problem.