SINGAPORE - Despite having a hearing disability, Miss Chui Yee Shia overcame all odds and was crowned a title-holder at Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant 2013 held at Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday night.
The 25-year-old makeup artist, who is 80 per cent deaf in both ears, was named Miss Singapore Friendship International 2013, one of six titles given out at the finals. She also bagged three out of the 10 subsidiary awards voted on by judges and sponsors - Miss Photogenic, Miss Healing Touch and Miss V10 Plus Ambassador - making her the biggest winner of the night.
An elated Miss Chui told The New Paper after the pageant: "I feel really great. I've always wanted to be an inspiration to others, to show that having a disability doesn't have to stop me from achieving my dreams, no matter how big and wild they might be."
She added: "I am so much more confident now and am thinking of joining Miss Singapore Universe next year."
Miss Chui also does not think that she won based on sympathy votes, and attributed her wins to hard work and effort.
"Many supporters encouraged me and said that I was really brave to join the pageant. I have sacrificed a lot of time and good sleep for this, but it was worth it."
But the victory did not come easy for Miss Chui, who lost her hearing and the ability to talk at the age of four after she had a high fever.
Her parents hired a speech therapist to help her learn to speak again, and she can talk and string together proper sentences now, even though her articulation and pronunciation is not clear.