When her four-year-old daughter laid eyes on her Madame Tussauds wax figure, she thought she was seeing double.
Little Sofya Qystina Hiruan and her family were at local wax museum Madame Tussauds Singapore last week for a sneak peek of her mother's wax figure before it was officially launched yesterday.
Ms Nur Surya Mohamed Ambiah, 31, told The New Paper: "(She) was very shocked to see that she has two mothers now. She was a little confused at first, but after some time, she realised that I am the real mummy, and the wax figure is the mummy doll."
She added: "My husband is very surprised and speechless, and he told me that he is very proud of me. It's not an everyday affair to have your wife cast as a wax figure. I feel very honoured and blessed for this opportunity."
Ms Nur Surya was speaking to local media at the SIA Training Centre yesterday, where Madame Tussauds Singapore and Singapore Airlines launched the iconic Singapore Girl wax figure, which will be on display in the museum from today.
It is modelled after Ms Nur Surya, who joined SIA in 2007.
She left to start a family in 2011 and rejoined SIA in 2012.
The wax figure was created at the Madame Tussauds headquarters in London and took three months to complete.
This is the second Singapore Girl wax figure produced by Madame Tussauds. The first was modelled back in 1993 after Ms Lim Suet Kwee, now the assistant manager for crew performance at SIA.
According to Mr Marvin Tan, Singapore Airlines' senior vice president of cabin crew, the selection process took more than a year. A list of 4,500 female crew members was whittled down to about six candidates and Ms Nur Surya was eventually chosen.
Factors considered included the person's ability to embody the characteristics a Singapore Girl should have, such as Asian grace, hospitality and commitment to service, as well as poise and confidence in presenting herself. Mr Tan said: "We had a team who went to the airport and observed the crew from the sidelines to look for potentials who would be suitable."
He added: "We look at physical appearance, height and the way the Singapore Girl carries herself. Ms Nur Surya has the qualities that are important for the SIA cabin crew in general, and she is reflective of the general population at the same time."
Ms Lim, 50, played a crucial role in the selection process.
She was in London last September with Ms Nur Surya to offer her guidance at the eight-hour second sitting which was part of the figure creation process.
During the session, the Madame Tussauds team took around 500 precise body and facial measurements of Ms Nur Surya, involving photos, a hand cast and hair samples.
When Ms Lim saw Ms Nur Surya's likeness, she felt a sense of pride. She told TNP: "It brought a smile to my face. It was an emotional process, being the first wax figure, and now being tasked to be part of the selection process to let my legacy live on."
Ms Lim's wax figure, which was on display at Madame Tussauds London from 1993 to 1994, is now in storage at the SIA office.
For Ms Nur Surya, seeing herself immortalised in wax was surreal.
"The portrayal is very accurate. From the texture of my hair to the depth of my dimple and the colour of my eyes, everything is done with precise details," she said.
This article was first published on March 4, 2015.
Get The New Paper for more stories.