Celebrity host Tiara Anchant believes that Malaysians should explore more local destinations because our country has so much to offer, like hidden gems that many have not heard of before.
“Travel should always begin at home. Sometimes, as Malaysians, we get so caught up with the ‘grass is greener at the other side’ mentality. But what we don’t realise is Malaysia has so much to offer if we just go out and explore the place. We should be proud of our homeland, ” she said in an exclusive interview.
Anchant, 27, is the bubbly host of #MyMalaysia, a travelogue on the streaming service, dimsum entertainment.
Produced with the support of Tourism Malaysia, the travelogue offers five episodes on different aspects of five states in Malaysia: food in Melaka, ecotourism in Perak, culture in Sarawak, beaches in Sabah, and urban discoveries in Kuala Lumpur.
Anchant is based in Petaling Jaya, Selangor and says that she loved trying all the activities and places featured in the show. However, the highlight of hosting #MyMalaysia was having the opportunity to talk to the locals and seeing life through their eyes, especially the Orang Asli communities that she met in Perak and the natives of Sarawak.
“They have such an amazing relationship with nature and they can contribute in many ways if they were given the same opportunities. But they lack confidence because they aren’t fluent in English, and they feel inferior when compared to their urban countrymen who have access to better facilities and education.
“They should not be ashamed of their heritage, but rather, they should be proud of who they are, ” she shared.
Anchant’s father is of English, Irish, French and Chinese heritage, while her mother is Peranakan.
“I think what’s special about Malaysia is its multiculturalism and diversity, ” she said, adding that this is especially evident in the case of food, as seen in the first episode of #MyMalaysia on Melaka.
The second episode of the travelogue focuses on the town of Gopeng in Perak. Highlights of this episode include adventure caving at Gua Tempurung, a visit to an Orang Asli village and learning more about the town’s history at Gopeng Heritage House.
The episode on Sabah features “chill life on the beach” where Anchant enjoys beautiful sunsets, as well as adventurous activities like parasailing and flying fox, while the Kuala Lumpur episode is "energetic". Anchant visits places in KL that she was not aware of such as Hauntu, an immersive horror experience, and Kwai Chai Hong, a heritage lane that gives a glimpse into the area’s past.
If there is one quality that is important to Anchant, it is kindness.
“Kindness doesn’t cost you anything, ” she said, referring to a quote from a Netflix show called Pose.
“In today’s world, everything is very fast-paced and there is a lot of competition. You never know what a person is going through. If everyone thinks ‘an eye for an eye’, it would make the world go blind. So, in any situation, if everyone just tries to be kind, a lot of problems would be resolved, ” she said.
Anchant was a recipient of the Star Education Fund in 2011 where she studied mass communications at Help University. She believes that it is important for one to always keep learning new things.
“It isn’t easy to get a scholarship, but people should keep in mind that it’s not only about academics. It’s also about how you speak and present yourself, and most importantly, your attitude, that matters. It’s not whether you’re good at something but whether you are open to learning and are easy to work with, ” she shared.
Prior to hosting #MyMalaysia, Anchant did some production work with Core Studios, better known by their YouTube Channel name, The Ming Thing. She also trained and acted with the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre and won the Samantha Schubert Award for theatre in 2017.
In 2018, Anchant acted in Gol And Gincu 2, and hosted the children’s programme Hello PinkFong in 2019.
She speaks English, Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin, and believes that Malaysians have an important role to play as ambassadors of their own country.
“The world sees a country through its people. So it is our role as Malaysians to be good hosts and to be hospitable to visitors so that they will have a good impression of our country, ” she said.
She strongly encourages all Malaysians to support local tourism.
“Travel, go explore and experience Malaysia for yourself and then share (your experience) because this will help attract more visitors to Malaysia, ” she urged.
Check out #MyMalaysia on the dimsum entertainment app or visit the website (https://stream.dimsum.my/visit-malaysia-2020/) to stream the shows.
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