Malaysian cosmetics tycoon Datuk Seri Hasmiza Othman received some negative publicity after flaunting her wealth on social media.
Othman, also known as Dr. Vida
, just starred in her very own music video titled “I Am Me.” While the video itself is pretty tame, it’s actually the alternate version that raised eyebrows online due to its extravagant depiction of Dr. Vida’s excessive lifestyle.
The controversial video features the businesswoman sitting in a bathtub brimming with cash as she flaunts her hand that’s adorned with jewelry. Another scene shows the skincare tycoon showing off her Lamborghini sports car as she dances around it.
Some netizens only took the video for its entertainment value, while others expressed their disgust on the video, saying “skin thicker than the great wall of China,” “lots of cash no class,” and “she is not rich, she is sick” among others. One Facebook user urged other people to “boycott her products.”
However, Dr. Vida doesn’t seem to be shaken by all the controversy surrounding her, including being involved in an alleged tax evasion case, according to AsiaOne
Despite the negative comments on how Dr. Vida markets herself, she explains that her lavish display is “supposed to inspire people to work hard, not to show off my wealth.”
Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that Malaysia is struggling with poverty.
According to FMT
, economist Muhammed Abdul Khalid revealed that the poverty rate among some groups in Malaysia is comparable, if not higher, than the rate in some African countries. According to the World Bank
, only 1% of the Malaysian population lies in extreme poverty, but low-income households make up “the bottom 40%” of the population. These families are “particularly vulnerable to economic shocks as well as increases in the cost of living and mounting financial obligations”
while income inequality “remains high relative to other East Asian countries, but is gradually declining.”