PHOTO: The Straits Times
The coveted title of Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) 2018 has gone to Miss Zahra Khanum, who will represent Singapore at the international Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok, Thailand on Dec 17.
The 23-year-old National University of Singapore sociology graduate beat 14 other finalists at the grand finale, which took place last night at the grand ballroom of One Farrer Hotel, MUS' official venue sponsor.
She bagged $10,000 in cash and prizes worth $45,000, including treatments and services from local spa Beaute Hub.
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What started out as a dream has now turned into reality. Winning the title - Miss Universe Singapore 2018, being able to stand alongside the former winner of Miss Universe Singapore 2017,@bruntraeger and @nuralizaosman and to be able to represent Singapore is an incredible honour. I am so excited for this journey ahead! Thank you so much @missuniversesingapore, @weeteck, the confidently beautiful girls, all the sponsors involved and all the support I have gotten from my family, friends and everyone who has taken the time to message me throughout this journey. It has been so overwhelming! There's so much love going around! I am truly humbled by this opportunity and I hope to make Singapore proud! ❤ #missuniverse2018 #confidentlybeautiful #missuniversesingapore2018 #singapore
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Miss Khanum, who was raised single-handedly by her mother whom she sees as her greatest pillar of support, said after the crowning: "I didn't expect to win at all. I'm happy, I'm excited, I'm proud of everyone. But most importantly, I'm really happy I was able to make my mum proud."
The first runner-up was rhythm cycling instructor Tiong Jia En, 23, and the second runner-up was 26-year-old realtor Jaslyn Tan, who took home $5,000 and $3,000 cash respectively.
NUS graduate crowned Miss Universe Singapore 2018
The 15 finalists were evaluated in three segments: Swimwear, evening gown and question-and-answer.
The results were determined by a panel of seven judges, including MUS national director Nuraliza Osman and The New Paper editor Eugene Wee.
MUS 2018 was organised by The New Paper in partnership with the Miss Universe Singapore Organisation.
Mr Wee said: "It was a tough pick because all the girls personified beauty and empowerment in different ways. But Zahra had that extra sparkle, confidence and poise that set her apart."
This article was first published in The New Paper. Permission required for reproduction.