PETALING JAYA, Dec 31 ― It has been a tough year around the world, with Covid-19.
Few heroes emerged, like Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah who made a name among Malaysians for his leadership role in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
Much of the attention online however, revolved around former Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 winner Samantha Katie James who was one of the most talked about names after Malaysians took her to task for racist social media posts on the BLM movement in the United States, that also angered the online community worldwide.
Her continued antics, and following repercussions, dominated headlines most clicked on by our readers.
Here are Malay Mail’s top 10 Life stories in 2020:
1. George Floyd protests: Outrage after ex-Miss Universe Malaysia claims African-Americans ‘chose to be born coloured’
Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 Samantha Katie James had many online furious after her controversial posts condemning people of African American descent by saying that they chose to be born as coloured people.
She posted on Instagram saying that because she doesn’t live in America, the BLM movement has got nothing to do with her, and said that the “whites have won”.
Many who were angered by her social media posts, also called for her crown to be revoked by Miss Universe Malaysia, while others edited her Wikipedia page and labelled her as a “racist” and “CEO of Clownery”.
2. ‘What do you mean you’re white?’: Miss Universe Malaysia national director Elaine Daly ticks off former beauty queen
Meanwhile, Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation (MUMO) national director Datin Elaine Daly said that James’ remarks were horrendous and tarnished the image of MUMO.
Daly who was shocked by James’ remarks said that the pageant empowers women while giving them a platform to voice their opinions as well as offering access to education through scholarships.
The pageant, according to her, was to speak about right things unlike the controversial statements posted by James.
A statement posted by James saying that she identifies as a white person although raised by a Malaysian-Indian family was rebuked by Daly saying that no matter what, James is still a Malaysian.
Daly, who is of Eurasian and Chinese descent is proud to identify as a Malaysian first when people ask her about her race.
3. In less than 24 hours, over 10,000 sign petition calling for ex-Miss Universe Malaysia’s crown to be revoked
Malaysians were up in arms to prove racism has no place in a multicultural society.
More than 10,000 Malaysians signed a petition demanding that former Miss Malaysia Samantha Katie James’ crown be revoked after her series of insensitive and racist posts offending people of African American descent.
Titled “Strip Samantha Katie James of her Miss Universe Malaysia Crown” , the petition was spearheaded by Marcus Gan and Yee Heng Zeh just less than 24 hours after James’ controversial posts went viral.
Both Gan and Yee said that the former beauty pageant had misused her platform and social media presence to voice out her blatantly racist and ignorant remarks.
4. China’s TV network names Malaysia’s Health DG among ‘doctors at the top’ during Covid-19 pandemic
Malaysian Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah was hailed a hero among Malaysians with his efficient and groundbreaking ways of handling the Covid-19 pandemic.
The article that caught the eye of many however was when he was named among the “top doctors” in the world, together with America’s Dr Anthony Fauci and New Zealand’s Ashley Bloomfield by China Global TV Network.
Dr Noor Hisham, who has been the director-general since 2003 is dubbed a “trusted face” by Malaysians because of his constant updates about the virus on social media platforms and relying on facts and figures to inform the public.
The Health director-general and the two other medical professionals received praise for being “calming” and “trustable” sources of information and facts during the pandemic to their countrymen.
5. Makeup company cuts ties with ex-Miss Universe Malaysia after controversial Black Lives Matter comments
Back to Samantha Katie James’ persistent controversial remarks – only this time, news that local makeup company Velvet Vanity cut ties with her had many clicking away.
The brand issued a statement on Instagram to criticise James’ views and clarified that they are no longer affiliated with her.
6. Former Miss Universe Malaysia slams ‘nasty comments,’ loses Instagram ‘blue tick’ after telling US protesters over George Floyd’s death to relax
Oops, she did it again!
Losing a ‘blue tick’ indicating a verified account on Instagram is a huge deal especially if you’re a celebrity or a famous person.
And unfortunately, former Miss Malaysia Samantha Katie James’ blue tick verification symbol on Instagram was removed after her spiteful comments on the BLM movement.
She then went on to say that those who have been angered over her comments about the BLM movement are hypocrites including one of her childhood friends who publicly condemned her about her BLM views.
7. Chicken rice seller pleads with customer to return, buy dinner from him due to tough times under MCO
Times have been bad for small businesses struggling to survive under the MCO this year.
One such story that gained traction among Malaysians was when filmmaker Gary Chong shared a heart wrenching story of how a chicken rice seller has been struggling to survive amid the MCO.
He described how shocked he was when the chicken rice seller asked him to return to the restaurant for dinner to get him another pack of chicken rice.
Chong who returned to the same shop that evening bought half a chicken from the hawker and gave him a generous tip and received praise from social media users after shedding light on the plight of food stall owners.
8. Japanese theme park for adults in Tokyo’s red-light district
Away from norm, many of our readers must have found it amusing that Japan was to open an adult theme park.
News site SoraNews24 had reported that there would be five different themes in each floor such as a floor for settling bills, a “Newcomer Adult Film Actress Floor, Kakubutsu Salon where customers can drink with women who work in the fuzoku industry among others.
To prevent the spread of Covid-19, partitions will be employed while customers are required to have their temperature checked before entering the theme park and are to don face masks while on the premises.
9. AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes the food delivery rider for company’s new food app
AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes who posted a photo of himself standing next to an AirAsia delivery bike received a lot of love from social media users.
This is also after the captions of his photo reads “getting ready to make food deliveries to your house”.
Tony who is supportive of the food business is working on getting his motorbike license so that he can start delivering food to customers from this month onwards via the AirAsia delivery application.
10. Two Malaysians accepted to prestigious Harvard University, beating more than 38,000 applicants
News that two Malaysians Zad Chin Qi Qi and Mohamed Aqil Azmi are the first Malaysians to have made it to Harvard University since 2017, brightened up the spirits of Malaysians amid the Covid-19 pandemic news this year.
With a total of 40,428 students having applied, Aqil and Chin have successfully made the cut of 1,980 chosen.
Aqil and Chin currently pursuing their A-Levels at Kolej Yayasan UEM (KYUEM) in Lembah Beringin Selangor are recipients scholarships from Permodalan Nasional Berhad and Yayasan Khazanah respectively.
Chin, whose passion lies in virtual reality and artificial intelligence hopes to use her knowledge to benefit healthcare and finance sectors after she graduates while Aqil will be pursuing mathematics and philosophy at Harvard.