WHILE uniting Asean beauties for a glamorous night, Miss South East Asia Tourism Ambassadress 2015 is also pitting them against each other for the crown.
Acting as a platform to promote tourism and cultural exchange in the region, the beauty pageant aims to strengthen friendship ties between Asean countries.
A total of 17 delegates from nine Asean countries, with two delegates for each nation, will take part in the beauty pageant which spans across nine days from Sep 24 to Oct 3.
The participating countries are Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Laos’ participation is its first since the pageant commenced 23 years ago.
Feeling privileged to be among the selected few, Laos delegate Santhany Saymanyvah, 22, hoped to inspire the women in her home country to be proud of themselves.
“I would love to tell everyone that the women in Laos are not only beautiful on the outside, but beautiful on the inside as well.
“We are as good as the men,” the flight attendant said, adding that she would use the winner’s title to shed light on economic inequality crises in the world.
Malaysian delegate Joey Ong Ai Ee, 25, aims to promote cultural aspects of the country.
“Food, hospitality and the friendly people. I feel there is a need to bring out the best of Malaysia on an international stage.
“As we are all proud of what Malaysia can offer, I will take the helm to promote these attractions to other Asean countries and beyond,” said the Perak-born student.
While the other participating countries had sent two delegates each,, Miss South East Asia Tourism Ambassadress 2015 Vietnam delegate Nyuyen Thi Quynh Nga, 20, is the sole representative of her country.
Her partner’s sudden withdrawal because of health issues did not impact her optimism because she found comfort in the other delegates’ companionship.
“The other girls are very friendly to me.
“They are practically like my sisters throughout my stay here in Malaysia,” said the Hanoi-based model.
Miss South East Asia Tourism Ambassadress 2015 will be held in conjunction with the Asean Transport & Logistics Awards (Atlas) and the Third Asean Transport & Logistics Show.
Functioning as a series of Asean-centred concurrent events, it remains in tune with the pageant’s mission to foster ties and greater development opportunities for the Asean nations.
Miss South East Asia Tourism Ambassadress 2015 president Tan Sri Danny Ooi said the strategy would draw a positive response to the events.
“We usually organise one event at a time, so why not blend all of the events together?
“This would attract the public in a positive way,” he said.
The grand finale of Miss South East Asia Tourism Ambassadress 2015 with Atlas incorporated will take place at Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa on Oct 2.
Tickets for dinner tables are priced at RM3,500, RM5,500, RM10,000 and RM16,000.
For details, call 03-9284 1877.