PENANGITES dominated at the 20th anniversary of the Miss Malaysia Tourism Pageant 2017 held at Berjaya Times Square Hotel Kuala Lumpur, taking home all three titles in contention.
Melissa Ng Sook Khuan, 24, a liberal studies student and part-time model, was crowned Miss Malaysia Tourism 2017.
She also bagged two subsidiary titles – Miss Glamour and Miss Vibrant KIA.
Lee Jia Ling, 19, whose ambition is to be a singer and songwriter, was crowned Miss Malaysia Tourism Queen of the Year and 22-year-old Crystal Tung Lu Yie, who is pursuing a degree in dentistry, was crowned Miss Malaysia Tourism Metropolitan.
The trio – Ng, Lee and Tung – who had become close through the competition, will strive to do their best to promote Malaysia over the next one year.
“It is unbelievable winning this crown and I want to make my country proud in the international competition,” said Ng, who wore a RM1.5mil crown specially designed by Roku Jewelry Luxury.
Ng will be competing in the 20th Miss Tourism International World Final, which will see participants from more than 60 countries at Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa on Dec 6.
Lee and Tung will compete in their respective pageants next year.
Lee said winning here and having a chance at the international competition would help in her future career.
Tung said she would use her title to promote Malaysia as a popular tourist destination.
Besides winning Miss Malaysia Tourism Metropolitan, Tung also won the subsidiary titles of Miss Gintell Wellness and Miss Elegant.
Eleanor Ng Cui Shan, 24, was named Miss Best in Talent while Hayley Yeap Hui Yin, 20, was Miss Charm and Nicole Yin Pui Kuan, 25, was Miss Friendship.
Miss Malaysia Tourism Pageant president and founder Tan Sri Danny Ooi said since 1995, the pageant had produced more than 103 Miss Malaysia of various titles.
“The Miss Malaysia Tourism Pageant had served a platform to promote tourism, friendship and culture and it was done very well,” he said.
Tourism Malaysia deputy director-general (planning) Datuk Chong Yoke Har said Malaysia was rich in culture, history, tradition and also food.
“This has attracted a large number of tourists but more is needed to boost tourism in this country and each individual can play a vital part.
“Last year, there were 26.8mil tourists visiting Malaysia with a revenue of RM82.1bil.
“We need to reach a target of 36mil tourists by the Year 2020 as our target is at RM186bil annually,” she said.
Brilliant Equity Ventures founder Datuk Jessie Yow said four welfare homes were given RM5,000 each from this 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,” she said.
Prior to the national finals, the 17 finalists engaged in numerous tourist promotions and charity activities, including a tour of Kuala Lumpur city which covered Dataran Merdeka, Petronas Twin Towers, Istana Negara, The City Gallery and Aquaria.
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.
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.
Gold sponsors are Berjaya Times Square Mall, Gintell (M) Sdn Bhd, Asia Metropolitan University, HuaWei Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and Naza Kia Malaysia Sdn Bhd.