Main image via Astro Awani
We never imagined having to prove ourselves as Malaysians because being born and raised here naturally affirms our Malaysian-ness (that, and our ability to seamlessly weave in lahs, mahs, and three different languages into a single sentence effortlessly). However, that was not the case for 23-year-old model Amelia Thripura Henderson.
According to The Star, the model who was recently crowned Malaysian Model Star of the Year at the Asia Model Festival 2019 in Seoul, South Korea was the target of racial slurs and criticism for being “too foreign” to represent Malaysia.
Amelia, born in Klang to parents of Indian and Scottish descent, posted her thank you speech with the caption, “never forget where you come from,” citing it as an honour to represent her beautiful country Malaysia.
While many joined in congratulating her, others voiced their dissatisfaction with Amelia as someone who was not fit to represent Malaysia because of her foreign ancestry. Amelia, in response, defended herself as a true Malaysian capable of representing this diverse nation.
Yes, I am not Malay, but I was born in Klang, Selangor, Malaysia, to a Malaysian mother and despite my father being a foreigner, I was raised in my country, I was educated in my country, I work in my country.
Malaysia is my country just as much as it is yours and nothing makes me more proud and honoured than to represent my home.
Well said, Amelia! We think that diversity in Malaysia should be celebrated and we’re proud of Amelia’s accomplishments.
Let’s spread more love and less hate, people!