Malaysian singer-actress Soo Wincci recently made headlines when sponsors pulled out of her first solo concert in the country, after she made a video demanding Datuk Seri Najib Razak resign as prime minister.
But insisting that the show must go on, the former beauty queen bankrolled the October 31 concert herself and managed to attract a packed stadium that included opposition supporters, politicians and celebrated local singer Siti Nurhaliza.
Looking back on the entire saga nearly two months later, the winner of the Miss World Malaysia 2008 said she had no regrets about releasing her outspoken video, made at the same time as the Bersih 4 rally in late August, despite the troubles it brought her.
She said the controversy surrounding Najib as well as the debt-laden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) needed to be resolved immediately, and that all Malaysia’s problems were caused by just one man.
“It is just one person at the end of the day. The leader is important. It is not about the party, it is about the leader.
“Just change the leader. We all have the right to this. We don’t want leaders that control us, we want leaders that lead,” said Wincci, 30.
The University of Reading (UK) law graduate, who has made a name for herself as a singer in Taiwan, urged every Malaysian to speak out for the sake of the country’s future.
“We are born in the Asian culture, so we don’t always like to speak out. In the end, we blame the leaders, but what matters is that we resolve the problems,” said Wincci.
However, the award-winning singer said each criticism leveled against the government should be substantiated and “not too aggressive”, and that each person had to be prepared to face the consequences of being vocal.
Reflecting on her own video calling for Najib to resign, Wincci said she had only meant to rally Malaysians to unite and “get rid of the problem”.
“If we keep fighting, we won’t improve. At the end of the day, we need to unite. Don’t side with one party, open your eyes.”
She said that after the eight-minute video went viral, she had received offers from several political parties to join their cause.
“But I didn’t feel it was necessary, and I’m not interested in going down that path. I think it’s enough that I observe and speak out,” said Wincci, who spoke in English, Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia in the video.
The video, uploaded on YouTube on August 30 with the title “Soo Wincci Words for Najib Malaysia Prime Minister” (see video below), was inspired by the Bersih 4 rally that called for democratic reforms as well as Najib’s resignation, Wincci said.
“I know that you (Najib) have been on stage for too long, and you know what, the stage now is too crowded. Najib, hopefully that you can give us some space and please come down from the stage.
“Give us back some space for freedom,” Wincci had said in the video, which was recorded in Taiwan.
A music video of her song “This is the Time” on YouTube also features scenes showing a sea of yellow protestors at the Bersih rally.
Wincci told The Malaysian Insider she studied law because her parents asked it of her, even though she had begun singing when she was 16.
But she pursued her studies without protest, earned her law degree as well as an MBA from the University of Sunshine Coast, Australia, and is now doing her PhD in Business Administration at the Open University.
She said she only began her career as a singer after completing her Masters, but admitted that it was difficult to get people to buy her album at first.
“I gave it a year. At first, I knocked on the doors of many recording labels, but they didn’t want me because they were scared,” she recalled.
Undeterred, Wincci said she released her first album herself, only for it to flop.
But the singer was determined to make it big, and after releasing several more albums in Chinese over the years, she eventually launched her first Chinese International album, titled “Happiness”, in Taiwan.
She said she was now setting her sights on breaking into the Malay market, but had reservations because of the stiff competition.
“I’d love to work with Datuk Siti Nurhaliza and compose a song with her. She is one of my idols,” said Wincci.
Not content with just singing, Wincci is also the one of the leading actresses of “Takhta Tiga Ratu”, a six-part Astro series.
“I’m trying to make my mark in acting, but it’s more challenging because the hours are long. When I first started out, I was just really confused, and was taking up roles as an extra,” she said, adding that her experience had taught her how to multitask.
She has just completed filming alongside local actors Aaron Aziz and Izara Aishah, for a movie that is set to release next June.
“There were many scenes in the movie that were passionate and challenging for me. But I count myself lucky to have gotten the chance to work with such talents,” said Wincci.
Last year, she founded her own talent management company, Beyond Artistes, and also took 4th place in “Malaysia’s Master Chef: All Stars” edition. – December 20, 2015
-The Malaysian Insider