'Fresh face' wins the crown

'Fresh face' wins the crown

It was her first time participating in a beauty pageant.

But this did not stop the judges from crowning the 1.7m-tall beauty queen.

Miss Mandi Cheung emerged winner of the Miss Singapore Chinatown pageant, beating 14 other finalists.

The pageant, now in its 25th year, was held on Saturday at a restaurant in Hotel Royal, on Newton Road.

Miss Cheung, 19, a final-year student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, says she was shocked by her win.

"It was very competitive, and I felt that the other girls did very well for themselves too," says the well-spoken young woman.

She is also a freelance model and backup dancer at events and concerts.

Ms Angela Tay, director of pageant organiser ERM Singapore Marketing, says Miss Cheung was well-liked because she was a fresh face to the judges.

"That she studies psychology and community services also fits well within the profile of a beauty queen," she remarks.

The competition, which had the slogan "beauty with a heart" required finalists to visit a home for the elderly, showcase a talent and take part in a question and answer session, among other segments.

Miss Cheung's win will take her to Hong Kong next January, where she will represent Singapore at the Miss Chinese International Pageant, organised by Hong Kong television company TVB.

Miss Cheung, who is Cantonese, hopes that the next competition will open up learning opportunities for her.

She also wants to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

The Miss Singapore Chinatown Pageant is one of the few here for Mandarin speakers.

This year, organisers also launched a new pageant, Mrs Singapore Chinatown, which enables married Chinese women to compete for the title.

The pageant also has a "classic" category, which features women above the age of 50 years old.

Mother of six Madam Dion Khoo, 42, picked up the crown for Mrs Singapore Chinatown, while Mrs Betty Ng, 56, was crowned winner in the Classic version.

There were six finalists each in both categories.

Madam Khoo's win comes just nine months after she gave birth to her youngest child.

Aside from caring for her kids, she heads an air-conditioning company - her family business - and is active in charity work.

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