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Chryseis Tan on not being a Crazy Rich Asian, “I feel I am quite a real person. What you see is what you get” 




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Chryseis Tan is not only the daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Malaysia but as of this year, she’s also the wife of one. Behind the Instagram photos from all around the world, though, is a hardworking woman in her own right who uplifts the lives of others.

Tan is the daughter of Vincent Tan Chee Yioun, a Malaysian tycoon worth an estimated US$820 million, according to Forbes. And on February 3 this year, she became the wife of Faliq Nasimuddin of Naza Group, who is one of the most important people in Malaysia’s motor-trade industry.

However, a recent profile of Tan in the South China Morning Post showed the heiress in a different light. While she has usually shied away from interviews in the past, she was more than willing to talk about her life, work and advocacies with what the writer described as “fuss-free candor,” noting that she arrived early, professionally made up, and with no handlers.

“‘I feel I am quite a real person. What you see is what you get, she says,’” writes the SCMP.

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Tan apparently doesn’t relish being called a Crazy Rich Asian, even though she’s seen in the company of actress Michelle Yeoh, who starred in the film, as well as other ultra-wealthy Asians such as Kim Lim, daughter of Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim.

She is also well-known on social media for her Instagram account, @chrystan_x, which has 348,000 followers, something that astonishes the heiress. “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.”

What many do not know about her concerns her work. Tan is CEO of is Berjaya Times Square, a shopping center in Kuala Lumpur, as well as the head of many of her family’s company Berjaya Corporation’s ventures in Japan including the Four Seasons in Okinawa, which is opening soon, and the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences in Kyoto, as well as the executive director for Berjaya Assets.

She told SCMP, “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.”

Even more of a well-kept secret is Tan’s work for non-profit organizations such as the Tzu Chi Foundation, a worldwide charity for disaster relief and other humanitarian efforts. Tan has accompanied the charity to Tawau, which is in Sabah, Borneo, to lent a hand to Tzu Chi’s initiatives in building a school for the stateless minors in the area, due to her “soft spot for its work in education.”

Tan’s low-key ways date back to her studies in Japan as a university student, where she was so safe she did not even have a bodyguard.

“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 told SCMP.

Read also: Not everyone in Singapore is a Crazy Rich Asian; unmasking the class divide in order to find solutions

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