Malaysian influencer earns plaudits for celebrating helper’s birthday with new outfit and makeover
A social media influencer in Malaysia has been praised for giving her domestic helper a 38th birthday to remember.
In a TikTok video posted on Sunday that has been viewed more than 2.8 million times, Ms Elecher Lee, 30, started the day by giving her helper Sumi a new cardigan and a dress, a type of clothing she said she has never worn.
The day of surprises continued with Ms Lee taking Ms Sumi to a beauty salon, another first for the birthday girl.
Ms Sumi, whom her employer affectionately addresses as “kakak” or elder sister in Malay, was moved by the pampering experience. The manicure, eyelash curling, massage and accompanying bird’s nest refreshment brought her to tears as she embraced Ms Lee.
“I’m 38 years old but have never entered a salon,” said Ms Sumi, who had previously appeared in her influencer employer’s sponsored video skits.
Ms Lee, a former make-up artist who posts videos revealing snippets of her life to 160,000 followers on TikTok, also applied makeup on her helper as part of the makeover experience.
She said it was her second time celebrating her helper’s birthday. In 2022, she posted a video of her surprising Ms Sumi with a cake.
The day ended with a meal of sashimi and yakiniku at a Japanese restaurant as Ms Sumi cut her cake with Ms Lee’s two young children in tow.
“This is how people should treat their helper,” wrote one TikTok user, while Malaysian singer Ara Johari added that Ms Lee was “truly someone who had a beautiful heart and face”.
Another commented that “every single woman who works tirelessly deserves some rest and to feel pretty” even if the next day would probably be “back to reality” with housework.