PAGEANT crowns have been polished and the 17 chosen finalists are ready to compete in the 20th edition of Miss Malaysia Tourism Pageant 2017.
The event on Sept 23 will see the crowning of three pageant titles – Miss Malaysia Tourism, Miss Malaysia Tourism Queen of the Year and Miss Malaysia Tourism Metropolitan.
The starry-eyed finalists were flown in from around Malaysia and range from accounting, architecture and law students, to a business development manager and traditional Chinese medicine physician.
Sarawak-born Brenda Ngu Ying Ying, 23, first threw herself fully into her studies and received a first class honours degree in biomedical science through a scholarship from Star Media Group Bhd.
Her dream of taking part in beauty pageants that began in her childhood years persisted during that time.
“I would watch pageants on television and dream of entering one but I had to focus on my studies and it would have been difficult to balance between studying full time and pageant duties.”
With passions in both art and science, which included healthcare, she has since secured a job in a consulting company and found it to be the opportune time to step up.
“I don’t expect to win but I joined because I wanted to challenge myself .
“I realise that life is short and have been progressively working on my confidence and trying to get myself to try the things that scare me.
“I’m in this pageant to seize opportunities to better myself.”
When asked about promoting the pageant’s three main objectives – tourism, friendship and culture – Ngu said her travels, mostly within Malaysia, allowed her to discover different cultures within the country and get them across via social media.
For seasoned pageant contestant Paveetha Panir Selvam, 24, from Kuala Lumpur, who aims to be a high fashion model, Miss Malaysia Tourism is her third pageant over the course of three years.
“It has been a passion since I was a little girl because I enjoy being in the modelling and pageantry industry. I know there is an age limit for pageants so I want to go all out and do my best.
“I believe this pageant is a way to promote our Malaysian culture, from food to dance, and through the event we can build on the tourism industry and create new friendships.”
The pageant is organised by D’Touch International Sdn Bhd and Brilliant Equity Ventures Sdn Bhd and provides a platform for the national finalists to represent the “Dekat Je” campaign for Tourism Malaysia.
Brilliant Equity Ventures founder Datuk Jessie Yow said four homes have been selected to benefit from the event.
These include Persatuan Kebajikan Kanak-Kanak Istimewa Insan, Ti-Ratana Welfare Society, OKB OKU Orang Kota Bharu Association and the Malaysian Association for the Blind.
“Not only does the pageant give an opportunity to finalists but it’s a platform for us to do more for the less fortunate.”
Platinum sponsors for the event include Berjaya Times Square Hotel Kuala Lumpur, which is hosting the finals at the hotel’s Manhattan Ballroom, as well as Minori Japanese Restaurant and Roku Luxury Jewellery, which has prepared a crown worth RM1.5mil for the pageant.
Gold sponsors include Berjaya Times Square Mall, Gintell (M) Sdn Bhd, Asia Metropolitan University, HuaWei Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and Naza Kia Malaysia Sdn Bhd.
Once crowned, Miss Malaysia Tourism 2017 will go on to represent Malaysia in the Miss Tourism International 2017 Pageant World Final in a gathering of more than 60 countries on Dec 6 at Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa.
Miss Malaysia Tourism Pageant president and founder Tan Sri Danny Ooi emphasised his personal motto, “Nothing is impossible and dare to dream,” as words of encouragement to the contestants.