‘I’m a nobody’: Chryseis Tan baffled by popularity, ‘Crazy Rich Asian’ tag

Ida Lim
Chryseis Tan (centre) with her mother and father, Tan Sri Vincent Tan (right). ― Pix via Instagram/Chryseis Tan

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 ― Berjaya Corporation's Chryseis Tan has expressed her dislike at being labelled a “crazy rich Asian” even as her Instagram posts show a glamorous life.

The daughter of Tan Sri Vincent Tan, who turned 30 recently, said her Instagram account only shows part of her life, and said she was perplexed how “a nobody” like her has many followers.

“I have a job. I have to go to the office, but people don’t see this side of me. If I started posting about the work on my desk, I don’t think anyone would find that interesting."

“When I started, about four years ago, it was just for fun, as I like posting nice photos of my travels and meals. I don’t know how it gained traction. I didn’t really expect so many people to follow me, a nobody," she was quoted saying in an interview with Hong Kong paper South China Morning Post (SCMP).

Her Instagram account currently has 351,000 followers, with SCMP noting that she has taken advantage of her following to spread the word about her business ventures.

“But I don’t feel the stress to keep posting. When I have no time and need to concentrate on work, I sometimes won’t post anything for a week or so," she said.

SCMP described the Instagram posts as showing private jet flights, a safari vacation in Africa, luxury fashion items, her wedding to Naza Group's heir Faliq Nasimuddin which had featured royal guests, and British boy band Blue.

The paper also noted that Tan mingles with celebrities such as Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh who starred in the Hollywood film Crazy Rich Asians, and Singapore billionaire Peter Lim's daughter Kim.

The paper described Tan as being fuss-free however, with Tan herself saying: “I feel I am quite a real person. What you see is what you get."

Tan shared that she had initially wanted to go to London to study as all her friends were there, but said her father had suggested that she went to Japan instead where she can learn a new culture and language.

She said her father had took her to Japan for a holiday to show her how amazing the country was, and also managed to get a friend to also study at the same institution as her ― Tokyo’s School of International Liberal Studies at Waseda University.

“When I first went there, I hated it. I felt so suffocated as I had not yet learned Japanese. During my time, not many Southeast Asians went there to study,” she was quoted saying by SCMP, adding that she almost wanted to return home but asserted she was not the type to give up.

“My dad has always been inclined to look east and I’m glad I studied in Japan,” she said, having since then fallen in love with Japan and having learnt Japanese.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had during his first tenure advocated a Look East policy, to encourage Malaysians to learn from Japan.

Tan, who now leads the Berjaya group's business ventures in Japan including a hotel under the Four Seasons brand in Kyoto and another Four Seasons to be opened in Okinawa, said she had freedom when she was alone studying in Japan.

Tan said she did not have a bodyguard in Japan then as her father was sure it would be safe for her there, adding that she prefers her own space.

“I prefer my personal space, but my dad has always insisted that I have [a bodyguard]. I find it really funny nowadays when people want to have bodyguards and even get them to walk so closely to them that they appear in photographs together,” she said.

Tan is now CEO of Berjaya Corporation's mall Berjaya Times Square, and executive director of Berjaya Assets where she is seeking to introduce "trendier concepts" and looking for interesting ventures in her areas of interest ― beauty and fashion.

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