PENANG: Defending Maxis SMS SpeedMaster Challenge champion Beh Chiun Siang harnessed his nimble messaging skills to retain his title after winning RM20,000 in the event's Bahasa Malaysia category here.
Beh, 24, who won RM30,000 in the event's grand finals last year, had to settle for a lower amount this year, as there were two language categories Bahasa Malaysia and English this year that offered RM20,000 for each category.
Business consultant Choo Sam Po was all smiles when pronounced champion in the English category of the event, which was held at Gurney Plaza yesterday.
Beh, from Sungai Petani, said he decided to switch to the new Bahasa Malaysia category, where he anticipated less competition because other regular contestants chose to remain in the English category.
Beh clocked 10.89 seconds as he typed out the message, Mengikuti kereta keselamatan using his Sony Ericsson T68i mobile phone, which he had won in the contest last year.
The message was presented to the contestants in a jumbled up form on a large monitor.
Choo, 30, from Selangor, said he sent out more than RM400 worth of short messaging service (SMS) messages to practise for the contest, adding that he even shopped around for a suitable mobile phone for the event.
I finally settled for a Nokia 6100 mobile phone after finding its keypad arrangement and its processor speed ideal for the contest, he said.
Choo, who completed the message They followed the safety car in a record 8.27 seconds, said this was his third attempt in the SpeedMaster Challenge.
Maxis Communications Bhd general manager and head of mobile data business unit Steve Martineau said the contest this year received a whopping 2.8 million SMS entries in four weeks compared to over 1.7 million entries last year.
The overwhelming response, he said, was partly because of the two language categories introduced this year as well as the move to bring the event outside Kuala Lumpur.