PETALING JAYA: Even though she has been raised overseas, Miss Universe New Zealand Finalist 2018 Nurul Shamsul says that she is still attracted to Malay men.
And the Ampang-born lass drilled down to say that the characteristics she looks for in her dream man are possessed by Youth and Sport Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
“I don’t mind if my man is from Malaysia or New Zealand, but I would prefer a Malay guy. The most important thing is he has the features I am looking for.
“It is good enough if the guy is smart, courteous, good and loyal. I see Syed Saddiq as someone smart and I really admire him,” said Nurul in an interview with mStar, The Star’s Malay portal.
Nurul, who was accompanied by her mother Ohan Anie Ediy, 43, is currently in Malaysia to promote her participation in the Miss Universe competition.
The 20-year-old made a name for herself when she became the first Malaysian to qualify for the finals of the beauty competition and the first of its contestants to wear a hijab.
“In this competition, I don’t have to remove my hijab or to wear a swimsuit, so there are no problems with my appearance.
“My parents were shocked when I told them about my participation. They were afraid of the perception of people that I would have to uncover my aurat (parts of the body not supposed to be exposed in public).
“Although I wear a ‘tudung’, I was optimistic about my participation in the competition and excited to compete with others,” she said.
Nurul’s mother is from Jawa, Indonesia while her father is from Ipoh, Perak.
She is currently studying psychology in the University of Waikato.
The eldest of three siblings was only five when her family moved to New Zealand.
Citing Oprah Winfrey and Malaysian singer Yuna as her inspiration, Nurul hopes her participation in the Miss Universe competition will allow her to breach barriers that those wearing tudung face in wanting to achieve their dreams.