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Close Up Our 2019 Cover Personalities Look Back On The Last Decade - And What They Look Forward To In 2020

Our 2019 Cover Personalities Look Back On The Last Decade - And What They Look Forward To In 2020

Our 2019 Cover Personalities Look Back On The Last Decade - And What They Look Forward To In 2020
By Aina Izzah and Syameen Salehaldin
December 24, 2019
As we enter a new decade, 12 of our 2019 cover stars reflect on the past year and their hopes for the new year

January: Datuk Seth Yap & Datin Lea Chan

Photo: Behind-the-scene by Khairul Imran
Photo: Khairul Imran

Twenty-twenty will be an exciting year for these husband-and-wife lawyers turned developers as they expect to finally complete work on their first property, the five-star Monopoly Mansion by Sirocco, in Bukit Bintang.

Read also: The Law Of Attraction According To M101's Datuk Seth Yap And Datin Lea Chan

February: Izree Kai Haffiz

Photo: Behind-the-scene by Khairul Imran
Photo: Khairul Imran

Designer and co-founder of Fiziwoo Izree Kai is surprised to discover how far he and his business partner, Hafizi Radzi Woo, have come in the last decade. "Fiziwoo is not even 10 years old but we've firmly established the brand as a renowned name with a large following in local fashion," he says proudly. 

The brand's defining moment in 2019 is the collaboration with Disney's Maleficent that presented a refined and romantic collection. The success of the collection has opened doors to more opportunities to work with other creative collaborators, which Izree Kai teases but cannot divulge further. We can't wait to see what the dynamic duo has in store next year.

ICYMI: How Fiziwoo Went From The Underdogs To The Top Of The Fashion Chain. 

March: Datuk Syafinaz Selamat

Photo: Behind-the-scene by Khairul Imran
Photo: Khairul Imran

Born into a musical family, Datuk Syafinaz Selamat has done very well for herself as a singer in the last decade. For one, she has won numerous awards, among them the Brand Laureate Award Winner For Grand Master in 2015 and the Panglima Mahkota Wilayah for her contributions to education and entertainment in 2018. She was also appointed the vocal director of the Soul Sisters concert this year that featured such powerhouse vocalists as Misha Omar, Siti Sarah Raisuddin and Noryn Aziz. 

"I'm truly humbled by the awards and recognitions as they are an acknowledgement of my hard work and my contributions to the arts community as a whole," she says. 

Her New Year resolution? To create more music, of course.  

See also: Follow Datuk Syafinaz Selamat's Melodic Journey From A Teen Sensation To Super Stardom

April: Puteri Badrinise Zakuan-Naquiyuddin

Photo: Khairul Imran
Photo: Khairul Imran

"I generally don't make New Year resolutions," shares the mother of two who graced the March cover with husband, Tunku Mohamed Alauddin Naquiyuddin. "But overall I'd like to work on being a better mum, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I hope to spend more time doing my bit for the less fortunate - and fill my life with positive vibes."

She laments that the past decade has flown by. "My little daughters, Tunku Alaynna Puteri and Tunku Azalea Puteri, are growing up so fast. My wish now is to watch them grow into loving, strong and independent young women, and realise their full potential and fulfil their dreams, whatever they may be."

ICYMI: Royal Couple, Puteri Badrinise & Tunku Mohamed Alauddin Naquiyuddin With Their Princesses

May: Nurul Zulkifli

Photo: Behind-the-scene by Khairul Imran
Photo: Khairul Imran

"After 10 years, we're still here and able to share our love for fashion while telling positive stories," reflects the creative director of Mimpikita. "That said, we're still expanding and growing our audience."

Having shared her own story on in vitro fertilisation (IVF) in the May issue, the mother of twins, Adam and Noah, hopes that 2020 "will be the year when I learn new things and give a positive impact on society by emulating the art of giving back."

See also: 3 Women Open Up About Their Journey To Motherhood With IVF

June: Tengku Zatashah Idris

Photo: Behind-the-scene by Khairul Imran
Photo: Khairul Imran

As an environmentalist, Tengku Datin Paduka Setia Zatashah Idris spearheaded the #sayno2plastic and #zerofoodwastage campaigns. Since then, she has collected nearly one tonne of plastic trash from clean-ups while the Klothcare fabric recycling movement she's also championing has collected 164 tonnes of unwanted fabrics to date.

She notes: "We have run out of excuses. As we start a new decade, it's time to discard the old mindset and mentality. We all need to galvanise together and make the change to be mindful. I can only hope that more people will adopt eco-friendly habits in their daily lives."

Read also: 4 Eco-Warriors On Their Pledges To Combat Climate Change

July: Dr Renard Siew

Photo: Behind-the-scene by Khairul Imran
Photo: Khairul Imran

Another passionate environmentalist, Dr Renard Siew was honoured to be chosen as a Gen. T honouree this year. "The 2010s represent an interesting development for those working in the environmental field. There’s increasingly more emphasis on environmental issues here in Malaysia, from ways to clear the haze situation to innovative management of plastic waste and water pollution," he says. 

As for 2020, he hopes to see more answers to the challenging climate issues. "I would like to see more innovation in this space as well as start-ups serving a real purpose besides making profit."

Read also: 5 Inspiring Malaysians To Know From Our Gen. T List 2019

August: Datuk Lai Voon Hon

Photo: Dean Shaari
Photo: Dean Shaari

The managing group director of Ireka is most proud of the trend-setting hotels he built in Kuala Lumpur, namely Aloft and The Ruma Hotel and Residences, which opened in 2018. However, he regretted not being able to establish a stronger foothold in Vietnam, a shortcoming he plans to remedy in 2020. 

"I've not been able to replicate the success of our high-end residential development and hospitality projects in Vietnam, which is why I will be focusing on our development there next year. I'm also looking out for another trend-setting project. Additionally, I hope to play more golf," he smiles.

ICYMI: 5 Industry Heavyweights, On Incorporating Sustainability In Their Businesses

September: Yong Mei Fong

Photo: Behind-the-scene by Khairul Imran
Photo: Dean Shaari

Bubbly sisters Yong Mei Ling and Yong Mei Fong graced our vibrant September cover - and there's more to celebrate in 2020, especially Mei Fong. 

"I hope that to create more awareness and changes to counter global warming. My wish is that we can work together with our leaders to make bigger changes for the environment," says Mei Fong. 

Besides that, the manager of transaction advisory services at Ernst & Young would like to say yes to more things that scare her. "I want to challenge myself at work and on a personal level," she explains.

Read also: Yong Mei Ling & Yong Mei Fong On Sisterhood, Family Values & Fashion Love

October: Melissa Tan

Photo: Behind-the-scene by Khairul Imran
Photo: Behind-the-scene by Khairul Imran

"It has been an eventful decade for me. I graduated from university, started my career at Getha (where she is now the CEO), got married and am now expecting my first child," she beams. "I look forward to being a new mom in 2020." 

Read also: 5 Second Generation Frontliners On Leadership & Legacy

November: Scha Alyahya

Photo: Behind-the-scene by Khairul Imran
Photo: Khairul Imran

Malaysia Tatler's Most Stylish Woman notes that the past decade has been filled with blessings. "One of my most defining moments was the day I became a mother. Motherhood has changed the way I look at the world. I'm more resilient and selfless. I'm also less affected by the things that used to bother me when I was younger."

She looks forward to an even more fulfilling 2020. "I want to continue pursuing my dream with a smile," she says.

See also: Malaysia Tatler's Most Stylish Woman 2019 Is Style Superstar Scha Alyahya

December: Nicole Tham

When asked what her most memorable moment was in the last decade, Nicole Tham immediately replies: "When mom (Lee Jim Leng) finally caved in to our request for a pet dog. My brothers and I have been asking for it for as long as I could remember!" she laughs.

Nugget, a fluffy white poodle, is now a beloved member of the family. "With her around, Netflix is a thing of the past. We now spend most of our time being entertained by her antics."

See also: The Giving Spirit Of Lee Jim Leng & Daughter Nicole Tham

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Close Up Entrepreneurs Cover Story Cover Personalities New Year's Resolution

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