Malaysian trans singer-actress says she’s not discouraged by criticism

Jessie Chung says she is serious about her career in showbiz despite transphobic criticism

Malaysian trans singer-actress says she’s not discouraged by criticism
08 January 2013

Malaysian transgender singer-actress Jessie Chung has said in the interview that the criticism she’s faced over her singing has not put her off performing.

Chung, known as Zhong Jie Xi in Chinese, said that she is serious about being a successful actress and singer.

But the album she released last year as a Chinese New Year special album was met with a lot of criticism online.

‘Many people hated the way I sang, complaining that it was nauseating and "unnatural",’ said Chung in the interview with The New Paper.

‘Some went as far as to make personal attacks. It’s okay, I’ve taken all these criticisms in my stride and I’ve worked harder to improve my vocals… and as much as possible, I avoid lengthy falsetto.’

Chung is from a wealthy family. Her father Chung Fook Siong as a prominent role for Hitachi electronics in Malaysia and Chung herself owns a chain of 56 health stores, called Natural Health Farm. She’s also a qualified Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner.

Compared to neighboring Thailand, Malaysia is not openly accepting of transgender women performers.

Last June, Malaysian transgender singer Hafiz Jeffri was fined in an Islamic Syariah court for ‘dressing in women’s clothing and having feminine mannerisms’.

Chung is not subject to the law of the Syariah court because she is not Muslim. 

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