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Siti Nurhaliza defends K-pop star’s win in Malaysian singing competition from bitter critics

Malay Mail logo Malay Mail 6 days ago Tan Mei Zi
a little girl posing for a photo: Siti has consistently praised Jang for his vocals throughout the show. — Picture via Instagram/ctdk and Instagram/onestarbyul © Provided by Malay Mail Sdn Bhd Siti has consistently praised Jang for his vocals throughout the show. — Picture via Instagram/ctdk and Instagram/onestarbyul

PETALING JAYA, Oct 8 — Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza is defending Big Stage winner Jang Han-byul after critics said that the grand prize should have gone to a Malaysian contestant.

Siti, who is a judge on the reality singing programme, said that awarding first place to the South Korean musician did not mean that Malaysians were sidelining the talent of their fellow countrymen.

“Music is universal. We share our talent and stake it all on the stage, so what’s the point of allowing participation from other countries when we only want local contestants to win?

“That’s not a real competition. It’s a healthy competition when we judge transparently and turn it into a challenge and opportunity for our local artistes to learn from.

“For me, Big Stage is open to all contestants and we, as a responsible jury, will judge each of them based on the talents that they bring to the table,” she told mStar.

The Malaysian pop queen also recalled how she and guest judge Misha Omar won the top prize in Chinese singing programme Asia New Singer Competition in 1999 and 2003 respectively and that there were no controversies regarding their status as foreigners in the competition.

Many social media users criticised the Big Stage judges and voters after Jang was announced as the victor, with some saying he was overqualified or that he had an unfair advantage by having a pre-existing fanbase in Malaysia.

Jang was the lead vocalist of South Korean band LEDApple which disbanded in 2016.

Several Twitter users have chimed in to defend the 29-year-old since his Big Stage win, citing his hardworking personality and tireless effort to learn Malay songs as justification for his award.

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