Angela (seated) in a photo-call with various VIPS including (from third left) Dennis and Gerawat.
MIRI: Angela Rantai, the newly crowned overall winner of the Kumang/Keligit Miri Divisional Gawai Dayak event vowed to take the annual beauty pageant to a higher level and platform to promote Miri and Malaysia internationally.
“Beauty queens with brains serve as important ambassadors for those they represent,” Angela said during the question session, which won the hearts of independent judges tasked with choosing the inaugural Kumang/Keligit Miri Divisional Gawai Dayak winner from among three beauty queens representing the Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu communities in Miri on Saturday night.
Angela told The Borneo Post she prepared herself well for the pageant which also marked her first attempt. Her preparation included training for the catwalk and how to answer questions, and reading up on various issues affecting Miri and the public, including on cultures and traditions.
Angela, 24, who has a Diploma in Management (Accounting) and is working with CIMB Principal Asset Management Bhd beat Kumang Bidayuh Trisha Camilla Joe and Keligit Orang Ulu Vikki Jeffrey.
Event organising chairman Wilfred Mac said this year was the first time an overall champion was selected in the 18 years the divisional Gawai celebration has been held, following a suggestion by event advisor and Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau.
The pageant was the highlight of the celebration, along with the selection of Keling/Belawan for the men’s category.
Angela won RM1,000 for the overall Queen title while for winning the Kumang Iban category, she received RM1,200 in addition to a trophy, sash, bouquet and certificate of participation for both titles.
Trisha and Vikki each won RM1,200 in addition to a trophy, sash, bouquet and certificate of participation.
The second and third place winners respectively for the Iban category were Aileen Kumang Tambat and Seling Gawing, while in the Bidayuh category the second and third place winners were Eliza Yvonne Johnny and Lovevilla Suria. In the Orang Ulu category, second place went to Jenyssia Jane Sabdie Pengiran while Natalie Singa won third.
The prizes for second and third place winners respectively were RM800 and RM600 while all three finalists for each categories received RM300 in addition to complementary prizes.
Meanwhile, Fedawin Johing, 25, who has a degree in petroleum engineering and works with Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd, won the Keling/Belawan category beating five other finalists. He received RM800, while the second and third place winners respectively, Derrick Mikal and Ronnie Lian, won RM700 and RM600 in addition to accompanying prizes.
The prizes were jointly presented by State Legislative Assembly deputy speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala, his wife Datin Esther Balan and several other dignitaries. Among those present were Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting and Miri Resident Sherrina Hussaini.