KUALA LUMPUR: Following in the footsteps of her mother, 19-year-old Andrea Veronica Fonseka was crowned Miss Malaysia Universe 2004, 34 years after Datin Josephine Fonseka bagged the coveted title in 1970.
The 180cm-tall beauty beat 13 other finalists and impressed the judges with her eloquence and confidence.
She also won the Miss Lumimi Slim and Beauty title and the Miss Nelson Popular title.
First runner-up was Pahang lass Pushpa Narayan, 26, who also won the Miss Love and Lace Photogenic and Miss Health and Beauty titles.
Second runner-up was Penang lass Estelle Looi, 24, who also bagged the Miss Congeniality title.
At a press conference later, Andrea said she was overjoyed and elated over the victory.
I seriously didn't expect to win, but I did try my best. I am elated, overjoyed and every other word you can find in the thesaurus to describe happiness, she said.
Andrea, who had just completed her A-Levels with flying colours, had been offered to study at a few universities, but said she had not decided which varsity to enrol in.
I am going to do law. It's the only way that I can put what I plan into action - to fight for the rights of women, children and animals, she added.
The beauty queen was in tears and kept hugging and kissing her mother and father Datuk Dr C.G.A. Fonseka at the pageant held at Crown Princess Hotel here yesterday.
Andrea, who was born in Penang, but raised in Petaling Jaya, said she was so proud that she could emulate what her mother had achieved 34 years ago.
Her winning statement was: I am a cheerful, determined and spontaneous person, and that would serve me well in Quito, Ecuador, for the Miss Universe competition in June.
Josephine said she was very proud of Andrea, but said her daughter's priority should be her studies.
We told her that she would always have our support. You have your studies to think about, but if you want to do this, then we're behind you, said Josephine.
Andrea also said she hoped to spread the message of peace to the world in Ecuador, as Malaysia was a perfect example of how people could live in harmony and peace.
The lass with Chinese, Filipino, Singhalese, Portuguese and Spanish parentage also noted that she did not have the perfect body...but a healthy woman is a perfect woman.
As she walked the runway with the trophy in her arms, Andrea said: Mum, this is for you. You've done this before, I love you.
The Grand Finals of the Miss Malaysia Universe 2004 was graced by Tunku Dara Tunku Tan Sri Naquiah Tuanku Jaafar.
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