VIPs thought Geethanjali behind 'powerful women' list

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THR Raaga radio announcer Geethanjali G, who was selected as one of '10 Most Powerful Women in Malaysia', has denied that she was behind the controversial list which has set tongues wagging since it appeared in The Star last Tuesday.

Speaking to Malaysiakini, the media personality said that she was clueless as to the identity of the listmaker and that her "peaceful life" had been disrupted by speculations surrounding the list.

"Ministers are calling me to ask about it, even media tycoons are asking me the same questions as you are asking me," she said when contacted.

"I may be popular on television, but I live a peaceful life and this list has created a ruckus in my life."

She was responding to speculation that she or her company G Global Media - a promotions and production company - had made up the list and paid for the page five advertorial to create publicity for herself.

Described as a "fashionista" by the listmaker, Geethanjali also denied that her husband - a mysterious but supposedly wealthy man whose identity she declines to reveal - was behind this.

"I keep that part of my life separate, it is quite personal... but to clear the air, I (have) to say that (Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd CEO) G Gnanalingam is not my husband.

"Maybe people speculate that because I use the name Geethanjali G and he goes by Tan Sri G, but (claims that we are a couple) is not true," she said on the topic which is hotly discussed online.

'A big joke'

The Miss Universe Malaysia 2009 finalist was ranked eighth in the list of most powerful women in Malaysia, ahead of activist Marina Mahathir and Kuwait Finance House CEO Jamelah Jamaluddin.

"I was shocked! I woke up and got a message from someone congratulating me on being among the most powerful women in Malaysia. I thought it was a joke. It's still a big joke and I have been laughing for two days.

"If it's a recognition then I accept it as something that will only make me work harder," said the former beauty queen, who also hosts a talk show on Astro Vanaavil.

Geethanjali feels that she is not just out of place but "out of the world" when compared to the other women in the list, made up of politicians, an activist, a banker, a movie star and an economist.

She said that prime minister's wife Rosmah Mansor, who topped the list, Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar were "far greater women" than herself.

"I keep myself busy and I attend many functions but that does not qualify me (to be in the list)," she said.

Asked if perhaps her ties with BN politicians - whom she is seen with in pictures on her Facebook fanpage - had raised her profile, she said: "I'm a media personality... but what can I do with their (the politicians') powers?

"No lah, come on, it's a big joke!"

Star keeps mum

Yesterday, Ambiga, Nurul Izzah and Selangor speaker Hannah Yeoh, who ranked seventh most powerful, said they were in the dark over who came up with the list.

The Star advertising department, when contacted, refused to reveal the identity of the company behind it but confirmed that the page was indeed an advertisement.

"We are unable to reveal the advertiser's detail as The Star honours and respects the advertiser's information. It will be kept as private and confidential," the department said in an email to Malaysiakini .

The full-page colour advertisement, which according to The Star's advertising rate card would have cost at least RM42,120, also kept the listmaker's identity under wraps.

Some pro-BN bloggers have rapped The Star for printing the advertisement, which they argued had brought untoward bad press Rosmah's way.

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