5 Former Malaysian Beauty Pageant Queens Who Still Represent Us With Regality

Last week, the world was shocked when the winner of 2017 Miss Universe Malaysia, Samantha Katie James, released a statement over her poor choice of words. Her controversial remarks made headlines locally and internationally—catching attention of celebrities around the world including Paris Hilton, Henry Golding and more. 

But while the majority are still recovering from Samantha’s poor choice of words, don’t forget that we still have these former beauty queens who continue to represent Malaysia with their charm, intelligence and grace. 

1.Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, Miss World Malaysia 1983

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Born in Ipoh, Malaysia, the name Michelle Yeoh rose to fame when she won the Miss Malaysia pageant of 1983 at just the age of 20. She later spread her wings to Hollywood in early 1990s after starring in a series of Hong Kong action films in which she performed her own stunts, such as Yes, Madam (1985), Police Story 3: Supercop (1992) and Holy Weapon (1993). 

Tan Sri Dato’ Michelle Yeoh is not only known for her philanthropy, the award-winning Crazy Rich Asians actress is also heavily known for her several accomplishments including appointed as part of United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador in 2016 and promoted to the rank of ‘Commandeur’ in the order of Légion d’Honneur in 2017 by former president of France, Francois Hollande. 

Till’ this day, Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh has never failed to become a fearless role model to men and women all over the world.

2. Datin Elaine Daly, Miss Universe Malaysia 2003

Who doesn’t know Datin Elaine Daly? The current national director of Miss Universe Malaysia is not only busy managing her personal projects but she’s also actively raising her two adorable daughters (Eva, four and Mia, 21 months).

Practically a household name in Malaysia, the beauty queen has been active in the beauty, entertainment, social and fashion industries since she began her foray into the modelling world in the late 1990s. In short, she has seen and done it all!

Fast forward to 2020 later, from starting her career in modelling and emcee-ing to taking the lead in the national pageant, she’s now adding ‘entrepreneur’ title to her resume as she set up LeadUp.Asia by Elaine Daly—a platform that aims to serve women from all walks of life by equipping them with interpersonal skills so that they feel empowered to pursue their career without boundaries. 

She is passionate about creating a whole generation of women who are smart, intelligent, disciplined, and independent.

3. Deborah Henry, Miss Universe Malaysia 2011

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Something new this Chinese New Year? Yes please! Gift yourself or a loved one. 20% off store wide. @fugee_lah

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Deborah Priya Henry—model, humanitarian and former Miss Universe Malaysia. After she was crowned as Miss Universe Malaysia in 2011, Deborah decided she wanted to be more than just a beauty pageant and a TV host. She started up her own non-profit charity organization that provides basic education to refugee children called Fugee.org

She was always looking for opportunities to see how she could utilise any platform she was involved in to try to help other people. As part of the Fugee.org campaign, Deborah also founded Fugeelah, an accessory brand developing unique accessories that are all at once fashion forward, whilst encapsulating the refugee experience and perspective within the pieces. All the profits channelled directly back into Fugee School to help keep the school sustainable. 

In 2013, the former beauty queen was included in Forbes’ list of top Asian philanthropists. She is also a World Vision’s Child’s Rights Advocate, and was appointed as Louis Vuitton and UNICEF’s local ambassadors alongside Dato’ Nicol David.

4. Soo Wincci, Miss World Malaysia 2008

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My Journey Had Never Been Smooth! Loads Of Thunder Storms, But I Still Persist With My Initial Dream, If I Still Haven't Given Up, U Cannot Give Up As Well ! Fight Back Stronger ! We Cannot Let Negativity Win ! 我的旅程从来没有简单过,经过风风雨雨,还是坚持自己当初的梦想,如果我还没放弃,你绝对不能!我们一起更勇敢的走下去吧!不能让负能量赢! Perjalanan Impianku Tak Pernah Lancar ! Ia Sentiasa Ditempuhi Oleh Pelbagai Cabaran, Tapi Ku Masih Berpegang Kpd Impian Asalku! Jika ku belum henti, anda tak boleh henti ! Kita tak boleh bagi negativiti yg menang ! Terus berjuang demi masa depan ! #inwincciblejourney #inwincciblequotes #lifejourney #journeyoflife

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The beautiful Soo Wincci. Not only did she earn herself a spot in the Malaysia Book of Records for being the first Miss World Malaysia to be awarded with a PhD in 2016, but she also earned two more entries—for the most number of academic degrees obtained by a beauty queen, as well as the most number of academic degrees obtained by a recording artiste.

But that’s not all, the winner of Miss World Malaysia 2008 also holds a law degree from the University of Reading, a master’s degree in music production, innovation and technology from Berklee College of Music, an MBA from the University of Sunshine Coast, and a PhD in business administration from Open University Malaysia. 

In 2013, this graceful lady was selected by Hollywood’s Independent Critics as one of the Top 100 most beautiful women in the world. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the real beauty with brains. 

5. Shweta Sekhon, Miss Universe Malaysia 2019

Miss Universe Malaysia 2019 Shweta Sekhon said that as titleholders, be it present or past, should always maintain their dignity and carry their sash with utmost pride. Upon her crowning in 2019, Shweta wasted no time to launch #YourBodyYourSay campaign—a platform for the youth community in Malaysia that highlighted the importance of building one’s own self-confidence, practicing self-love and embracing one’s real self. 

Her key messages touched upon the importance of mental strength, self-acceptance and self-confidence in one’s appearance, and staying healthy. 

Shweta, who intends to further her studies in communications, believes her voice is her strongest asset. The Indian origin beauty has proven why she deserved the Miss Universe Malaysia title.