DESPITE being known as the shy girl with public speaking listed as one of her biggest fears, 20-year-old Jane Teoh defied all odds when she was crowned Miss Universe Malaysia 2018.
Juggling between a degree and the beauty pageant, this accounting and finance student proved that you could make all your dreams come true with just a little bit of faith and perseverance.
“Honestly I was so surprised as I never expected to win, but I proved to myself that I can achieve anything if I put myself out there and be more courageous,” said Teoh.
The Penang-born beauty was in shock as her predecessor, Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 Samantha Katie James, presented her with the crown and sash during the grand finale held at Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
The 178cm-tall part-time model, who was also named Miss Online Personality, beat 16 other hopefuls for the crown and also the chance to represent the country at the Miss Universe 2018.
She also received RM50,000 cash, sponsored prizes worth over RM150,000 and a full education scholarship from HELP University.
“I want to be remembered as a woman of transformation at the end of my reign. I want to be involved in philanthropic work and help eradicate social issues,” said Teoh, in answer to the last question asked before she was crowned.
She also plans to speak for the underprivileged, especially those living in poverty.
Teoh believes that many are ignorant about this social problem and hopes to do her part to break the cycle of poverty.
“I also have a business background with business organisations so I would also like to inspire more women to venture into the world of business,” she added.
Teoh was joined by first runner-up Alexis SueAnn Seow Su-Yin, 22, second runner-up Liliana Fernandez, 20, and third runner-up Jasebel Shalani Robert, 22, all from Kuala Lumpur.
They were among 13 other hopefuls who wowed the crowd with a show of stunning evening gowns and swimwear before the top four were announced.
Apart from that, there were 12 other subsidiary titles given out.
Fernandez received two which were for Miss Body Beautiful and Miss Zalora Style Star, Seow also received two; Miss Glojas Glowing Beauty and to be the Face of La Juiceria.
Miss Congeniality went to Natasha Aprilla, while Charlotte Tan was named Miss Auto Bavaria Elegance and Miss SMC Winning Smile.
Charmaine Chew is Miss Miko Galere Exceptional Coiffure, Maria Devonne Escobia as Miss Lancome Beautiful, Mellisa Wong as the Face of Fitology and Dahinoor John for Most Inspiring by HELP University.
The black-tie affair was made more glamorous as the event saw guests dressed in their best gowns and suits.
There was also an exciting line-up of performances by Dasha Logan, daughter of late Alleycats’ vocalist Loganathan Arumugam, singer-songwriter Yuna as well as dance performances.
Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation (Mumo) national director Datin Elaine Daly said she was proud of all the girls that night.
“I have never been prouder of the top four contestants and in fact all the contestants this year are women of substance, they each have something unique in them,” she said after the girls were crowned.
Daly further urged the girls to make the most of this year and savour every moment of it as it was their time to shine.
“This is just the beginning where work really starts, so think of what legacy you want to leave behind and achieve it,” she said, adding that “titles do not mean as much as the things you set out to do and achieve in the future.”
She added that the theme Beauty Beyond You was chosen this year because they wanted to break free from the stereotype of what a beauty pageant was and instead show that it could be a platform for contestants to be inspired, empowered and to become leaders.
“It is our dream that this pageant can inspire young girls to use this stage to achieve greater things and to be positive role models,” she said.
Star Media Group was the official partner for this event.
Catch the next Miss Universe Malaysia 2018 series by logging on to www.hurr.tv for exclusive behind-the-scenes content and the episode finale on Jan 29, 7pm on Diva Astro channel 702 and Diva HD channel 723. The episode finale will also be aired on E! Astro channel 712 on Feb 1 at 7pm.
Happy moment: Teoh celebrating with fellow contestants after her win in Kuala Lumpur.
Preliminary rounds of Miss Malaysia Universe 2018 among 17 contestants.