MC: How does it feel having one of the most sought-after titles in Malaysia?
It is so surreal and incredibly exhilarating! It’s been almost 5 months now, and it still feels very much like a wonderful dream. All I can say is that I’ve been blessed with a once in a lifetime opportunity.
MC: How did you prep for auditions, challenges, etc.?
I started by reading up on the pageant and I watched past Miss Universe pageant shows. I was always a fan, but I needed to fully understand the pageant and how it worked before I could work on anything else. Then, I worked on the individual segments of the competition. I enrolled for some catwalk lessons, worked out hard at the gym and constantly read up on current and worldly affairs as to prepare for the question and answer segment of the competition.
MC: What are the challenges you faced/ still face that the audiences can’t see through social media platforms or TV?
I was at odds when I discovered my catwalk was weak! However, I was really lucky that the girls from the pageant were so helpful, and whenever possible, they corrected my flaws during the initial stages of the competition. My mum’s friend, Yvonne, helped me with the basics and I later took lessons with Amber Chia. I practiced as much as I could, even when I had such bad blisters because I knew with determination, hard work and perseverance, I could achieve wonders, and in this case, a great catwalk. Fast forward 5 months, my walk has seen tremendous progress, but hey, there’s always room for improvement and betterment. Practice definitely makes perfect
MC: What are important qualities you need in order to join such a prestigious pageant?
Definitely originality. We are all different and unique beings, and I feel the best person you can be is yourself, and you should not try to be or embody someone, or something you’re not. Confidence and independence are key traits to possess, as it takes a lot of courage and mental strength to put yourself out there, and to stand tall in your shoes. You need to be determined and disciplined enough to train hard, not just for yourself, but for your country too.
MC: Being one of the youngest contestants last year, how did you cope to meet with expectations?
By striving to be a better version of myself at each stage of the competition. To me, it wasn’t about meeting expectations. I wanted to deliver my best in every round, I wanted my journey to be a transformation, one that had only improvements.
MC: What are your current roles as the reigning queen?
Firstly, I am to prepare for the international pageant that will be held at the end of the year. Training includes catwalk lessons, vocal training that helps with voice projection, question and answer drills for interviews that will be conducted in front of a panel of judges, communication skills, physical training to achieve a toned and defined body and photo shoots. It’s a huge responsibility to represent your country in such a prestigious pageant, and I take a lot or pride in that. Furthermore, I am championing causes that are close to my heart such as raising awareness regarding the importance of personal hygiene and dental health care. I am also working very closely with Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) to create awareness regarding HIV and to help voice the concerns faced as well as advocate the practices of MAF. Empowering young adults, both male and female to achieve their dreams, whatever they may be is extremely fulfilling and I hope my reign as Miss Universe Malaysia 2016 does exactly that, inspire.
MC: Any tips or advice for those planning to join the running to be the next queen this year?
In my personal experience, you need to be determined, resilient and you definitely need to have perseverance. To achieve success in anything really, you need to be hardworking and humble. The key is to never give up, even if the odds are stacked against you.
The last stop for the Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 auditions is in KL! Below are the details:
Date: 25th June 2016
For more information, head down to MUMO’s facebook page.
Also, check her out in the Day In The Life page in our August issue to find out what she goes on with her on a daily basis!
Image credits: MUMO