In light of sombre recent events, we think it’s high time that we presented something inspiring to everyone. Thus, it’s never a bad time to highlight the achievements of our fellow Malaysians and their Malaysia Boleh spirit. More and more Malaysians are making big names for themselves overseas, so we’ve decided to highlight the success stories of four Malaysians that have truly helped put Malaysia on the may.
Dato’ Sri Bernard Chandran
Dato’ Bernard Chandran is a Malaysian fashion designer of both Indian and Chinese parentage. Although he almost became an accountant due to his father’s advice, he decided to pursue fashion at the International Fashion Training Centre in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
After he organized his debut solo show a mere 3 months since his graduation, Dato’ Bernard Chandran went on to further his studies at the prestigious Paris Fashion School in Paris, France. He returned to Kuala Lumpur in 1993 to set up his first shop in KL Plaza and from there, he built up his client base amongst the elite of Kuala Lumpur.
Since introducing Europe to his couture with a boutique in Knightsbridge, London, many celebrities have been spotted in his designs. Notable mentions include Estelle, who wore his design for her performance at the 2008 MTV European Music Awards, and Rihanna, who wore a hat from his Autumn/Winter ’09 Collection for her famous topless shoot with Vogue Italia.
Dato Sri’ Bernard Chandran has even had the honour of showcasing his designs to Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge at the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange held at Buckingham Palace in February of 2019.
Ronny Chieng is a Malaysian comedian and actor born in Johor Bahru. His first significant venture into comedy was when he performed with Trevor Noah at a comedy festival in Melbourne in 2013.
Two years later, Ronny Chieng moved to New York City when he was asked to audition for the correspondent role on The Daily Show, which is also currently hosted by Trevor Noah. In 2016, Chieng’s response to a racist Fox News segment went viral and received coverage in the Washington Post and Slate.
Ronny Chieng made his American feature debut in 2018 with Crazy Rich Asians, starring in the film alongside fellow Malaysian celebrities Henry Golding and Michelle Yeoh. In 2019, Netflix started streaming his stand-up special “Asian Comedian Destroys America!” where he jokes about consumerism, racism, and immigrants.
Ronny Chieng is currently a senior correspondent on The Daily Show.
James Wan is a Malaysian-born Australian film director and producer who rose to fame as one of the co-creators of the Saw film franchise. After moving to Perth, Western Australia when he was 7 and then relocating to Melbourne to attend RMIT University, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Media in 1998.
Wan not only directed Saw and co-wrote Saw II, he also produced all eight films in the franchise. After Saw made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004, garnering roaring success in both domestic and international box offices, Saw II was greenlighted for production and the rest of the Saw franchise followed.
The Saw film franchise is the 2nd highest-grossing horror franchise in the United States and is behind only the Friday The 13th films by a mere margin of 10 million USD.
James Wan possesses an extensive filmography and some notable mentions include Insidious, The Conjuring, Furious 7, and Aquaman, where he worked with big names like Jason Momoa and Vin Diesel.
Henry Golding is no stranger to any Malaysian now for he’s made headlines for his charmingly good looks and his stellar performance in Crazy Rich Asians. This Malaysian-English actor, model, and television host was born in Sarawak to an Iban mother and an English father.
After moving to England when he was 8 to study, he returned to Kuala Lumpur at 21 to pursue on-camera roles at the end of working as a hairdresser in London for a couple of years.
Golding has been hosting The Travel Show since 2014 but what propelled him to stardom was his leading role as Nick Young in Crazy Rich Asians. The film met high critical praise and became the number 1 movie in the US and Canada over its opening weekend.
Henry Golding recently starred alongside Emilia Clarke in the romantic-comedy, Last Christmas. He is also reported to reprise his role as Nick Young in two sequels to Crazy Rich Asians.
These Malaysians have certainly come far from their humble beginnings and we hope that their inspiring success stories will motivate you to do your best in life as well! After all, it’s Malaysia Boleh for a reason!
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