By THE BORNEOTODAY TEAM
KOTA KINABALU – The rumour mill on social media went into overdrive on New Year’s day that socialite Paris Hilton would make a world-wind trip to Sabah in a day or two.
This came soon after photos of her arrival in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, on New Year’s eve was spread on Whatsapp.
Now why would Paris Hilton – American businesswoman, socialite, television and media personality, model, actress, singer, DJ, and author – want to come to Sabah?
A clue. She is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels.
And a Kota Kinabalu Hilton is set to open up in the state capital soon.
However, it is unlikely that the celebutante – the media description of a celebrity not through talent or work, but through inherited wealth and lifestyle – would be heading to Sabah.
It would make nice headlines though.
But Paris Hilton was in Brunei though – for a well-guarded reason.
There was hardly a word in the media in religiously-strict Brunei, where celebrating Christmas is a big No-No.
Her visit would have been a secret had not photos and a short video clip of her arrival not shared on youtube and Facebook.
Word is that she came to the sultanate at the invitation of Prince Prince Jefri Bolkiah, who is reportedly close friends with her.
Jefri is the controversial younger brother of the Sultan of Brunei who has banned the public celebration of Christmas in the tiny oil-rich nation sandwiched between Sabah and Sarawak.
With the Brunei media keeping a tight lid on Paris Hilton’s holiday, it was left to social media to do the necessary.
Selebriti antarabangsa Paris Hilton berada di Brunei pada masa ini untuk bercuti bersama keluarga tercinta. (International celebrity Paris Hilton is in Brunei currently for a holiday with her family) – said a posting in the Brunei Semasa Facebook.
It posted a photo of Paris and an aide talking to an official at the Brunei airport, crediting the photo to a Whatsapp contributor.
There was also a posting of the visit on www.reddit.com/r/Brunei
There were also several comments on Facebook ranging from “there’s nothing to shop for in Brunei”, “make sure you try our ambuyat – a local delicacy”, “good for Brunei tourism”, “why is there no news about it in the media”, and “thank goodness for whatsapp and facebook now we know who’s in town”.