Malaysians and Indonesians fight over beauty pageant finalist's batik top on Instagram

PHOTO: Instagram/debrajeanne.poh

PETALING JAYA - A Malaysian beauty pageant finalist has received flak on Instagram from Indonesians for a batik top she wore during a recent photo shoot in Myanmar.

Miss Grand Malaysia 2018 finalist Debra Jeanne Poh was photographed wearing a modernised batik top with tie knot and bell sleeves at the Shwemawdaw Pagoda in Bago.

Several of these photographs were shared on her Instagram account.

Several Indonesian Instagram users have criticised her for wearing the top with the batik parang motif, adding that it belongs to Indonesia and not Malaysia.

However, there were many Malaysians who quickly came to Poh’s defence.

Later, the 22-year old Sabahan lass used her Insta-story to speak out about the “hateful comments”, noting that she did not claim the batik to be of Malaysian origin.

“First of all, I didn’t claim anything. It’s just a clothing that I wear and I’m very proud of it.”

She also thanked her fans for supporting her.

“To all my fans that have been backing me up, thank you so much for your support and time. But seriously, we don’t have to go down to their level so let’s just ignore and pray for the best for them,” she added.

Poh will be representing Malaysia at the Miss Grand International final in Myanmar on Oct 25.

A check found that the top was designed by local online fashion house Dona Plant Base. The website noted that it designs “handmade lifestyle clothing line that incorporates South East Asian textile such as Batik with a fun contemporary design”.

The design, named Summer Ray tie knot bell sleeve top, is on sale at its website.