Hello Malaysia, we’re at it again. We’ve ripped off major beauty brands – vis-a-vis packaging – and proven that we are completely creatively barren:

We have so many avenues for entrepreneurs to shine and really push their products, however – it’s things like this that make headlines (or hashtags, your pick). Between Malaysian beauty products that contain mercury, lead and other foreign, dangerous ingredients, and smaller businesses who blatantly copy bigger brands – where is our industry going?

“Sis cuba” is one of the most overplayed phrases I’ve ever heard and while I really don’t want to bash local products, this criticism comes from a place of concern. If we’re only ever pulling ideas from other brands, if we don’t buckle down on those who do this – we’re fostering an environment where we reward people who copy. The same goes for people shilling ‘inspired’ products – which basically means, it looks like the real deal but it’s made out of way inferior materials.

Of course, these aren’t the only examples – have a look at these:

Lazada Malaysia

If we want to advance these industries – or heck, Malaysian brands in general – we really need to come up with better products. We need to come up with original products, concepts and the likes before even contemplating entering any major arenas. Some brands have made it. Over the weekend is a local initiative, Womenfest – which aims to highlight the best of local, female-focused brands – proof that you can make it without ripping off the ideas, packaging or concept of other, bigger brands.

The question right now applies to most aspects of Malaysian-produced items. We don’t seem to have an ecosystem that allows homegrown brands to shine – that being, the thought that something is made here immediately fills people with the thought that it’s somehow inferior. Without proper protocols in place, we will keep producing dangerous products and therefore, perpetuating the stigma. That being said, we need to foster an environment that encourages consumers to purchase Malaysian-made products so that entrepreneurs can actually make a living off of their products.

Lazada Indonesia

Come on, Malaysia.