KUALA LUMPUR: Speechless Jane Teoh could only shed tears when she was crowned Miss Universe Malaysia 2018 at The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
As the ballroom erupted in cheer, the 20-year-old was in shock as her predecessor, Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 Samantha Katie James, presented her with the crown and sash.
The accounting and finance student said she wanted to be an agent of change and to inspire those around her. "I want to be remembered as a woman who made a difference. My wish as Miss Universe Malaysia is to spread my philanthropic work," said Teoh moments before she was crowned.
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 pageant.
She also received RM50,000 cash, sponsored prizes worth over RM150,000 and a full education scholarship from HELP University.Teoh said she was not afraid of challenges or to step out of her comfort zone to achieve her goals, including to help the less fortunate.
Joining her on stage was first runner-up Alexis SueAnn Seow Su-Yin, 22, second runner-up Liliana Fernandez, 20, and third runner-up Jasebel Shalani Robert, 22. The trio are from Kuala Lumpur.
"It's our dream that this pageant can inspire young girls to use this stage to achieve greater things and to be positive role models," said Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation (Mumo) national director Datin Elaine Daly at the grand finale event.
She added that the theme Beauty Beyond You was chosen this year because they wanted to break down stereotype of what a beauty pageant is and instead show that it can be a platform for contestants to be inspired, empowered and to become leaders.
"This can only be achieved with mentorship, training and a willingness to transform, so we have included a full educational scholarship for our winner this year," she said.
Apart from wowing the crowd with a show of stunning evening gowns and swimwear by the contestants, there were also performances by local talents including singer-songwriter Yuna.
Star Media Group is the official media partner for this event.