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Sep 19, 2017
Flamboyant skincare mogul Dr Vida has become the talk of the town yet again, after whipping up controversy after controversy.
Unfazed by run-ins with the law over alleged tax evasion and dubious product claims, the 45-year-old CEO of Vida Beauty is in the news again, this time, for displaying herself in full glory in a bathtub filled with currency notes and jewellery.
Uploaded on Instagram recently, the image showing her fully attired in a red Malay dress and head scarf with sparkling jewellery on her hands and fingers was apparently captured during a video shoot for another version of her viral hit song, 'I Am Me'.
Before you scream "bad taste", netizens had already slammed her for showing off her obscene wealth yet again. To be launched on Sept 30, the new video also features her fuchsia sports car, one of the many luxury cars she owns.
But Datuk Seri Dr Hasmiza Othman (which is her real name) said she was doing the new video as she was not satisfied with the first version of 'I Am Me', even though it had garnered a staggering 8.1 million views since it was put up on YouTube on July 13.
Responding to her critics, Vida told The New Straits Times. "Those images of luxury were supposed to inspire people to work hard, not to show off my wealth."
Some people have compared her cackling performance of 'I Am Me' to PPAP of Pen Pineapple Apple Pen fame - annoying and painful to watch. But others thought she is ridiculously entertaining while promoting a 'Love Yourself' mantra to inspire others.
Unabashedly calling herself the 'Queen' and 'Diva' in her song, she believes the new version will reflect her identity better.
To followers of the long-running Vida 'drama' that has become very popular in the media in the last two years, such irreverent and over-the-top antics of hers are nothing new.
"I know many people like to give me flak especially with regards to my appearance. I am used to it. They don't know who I really am or understand my goals. If I were to listen to all the criticism, I'd be going nowhere," she told Bernama in a report last year.
Don't be too quick to turn your nose up at this controversial woman.
Hers is an inspiring rags-to-riches story. Born in Kelantan to a poor family, she sold kachang puteh (nuts) and and nasi bungkus (packed rice meals) to earn pocket money after her father died, reported Benama.
Selling fish crackers and sarong garments, she supported herself through university in Penang for an education degree, majoring in Malay literature and history. She became a teacher and then decided to venture into the beauty business.
Vida only managed to succeed after going through failures, sabotage and losses.
Today, she has the last laugh. She owns more than 20 luxury homes, a fleet of luxury cars and copious amounts of jewellery that adorn her, according to one report. She has also sponsored popular entertainment shows on TV and even a football team.
This year, she has generated enough news which dominated the headlines.
She divorced her husband of a few years only to find a European man of "husband material" a few months later.
She was fined for promoting her Pamoga health drink as medicine on TV and saw her business dented when one of her best-selling skincare products was banned by health authorities.
She also announced her plan to launch her luxury handbag brand jointly with Louis Vuitton but the haute couture giant has denied such a collaboration.
If the plan doesn't work out, undaunted Vida will probably look for other opportunities.
After all, she had said whatever hardships she had suffered before are nothing compared to the devastating loss of two of her four children who died in a fire three years ago.