KOTA KINABALU (July 23): Twenty-four finalists from three prestigious beauty pageants will experience eco-tourism and community service as part of their coronation night program in Kiulu on Thursday.
They are here to compete for the titles of Miss World Malaysia, Miss Grand Malaysia and Miss Supranational Malaysia – the three-in-one mega beauty pageant competition is being held in Sabah for the first time.
During their visit to Kiulu, they are expected to engage with the community and help beautify the homestay, upgrade footpaths and plant trees.
Their visit was organized by Hilton Hotel as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative.
Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister and Sabah Tourism Board Chairman Datuk Joniston Bankui praised the competition organizing committee and Hilton Hotel’s outreach program and hoped to use their time to connect with the local people.
“Kiulu is a popular destination for eco-tourism and those who want to support the local community, as we have a strong community-based tourism concept there,” said the Kiulu chairman at a press conference at the HyperLive Festival in Malaysia on Tuesday.
“Finalists’ involvement in local activities is important as it will give them the opportunity to meet new people and gain insight into local life and culture, which will enhance their learning experience,” he added.
Johniston said the pageant and tourism complement each other as participants from different backgrounds can improve cross-cultural understanding and establish new connections that benefit tourism, economic progress and humanitarian efforts.
In addition, he encouraged the finalists to use their platforms effectively and helped promote Sabah and the charity work they were doing throughout the competition on social media.
Hyperlive Festival Malaysia brings together high-profile beauty pageant events, with the grand finale and coronation ceremony for the three mega pageants taking place on August 27 at the Sabah International Convention Center (SICC).
Thanking the organizers for bringing a major tournament event to Sabah, Johniston said such an initiative is in line with the vision of his ministry and the Sabah Tourism Board to bring important business events to the state.
“Making SICC a platform for spectacular events will help enhance Sabah’s reputation as a preferred destination for hosting events, as well as promote the glory of our own convention center to the rest of the world,” he said.
Meanwhile, HyperLive Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Dr Sean Wong said HyperLive Festival Malaysia aims to provide a hybrid platform for more than 1,000 people to showcase their talent at the venue and a global audience watching online shows.
“Through the various events held at our HyperLive Festival Malaysia, we aim to empower lives. We have a strong social mission to bring about positive change in our society, thus apart from providing an innovative platform for talent discovery, we hope to support sustainable community projects proposed by our competition finalists and turn their ideas into reality,” he said.
On the other hand, Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) president Datuk Seri Winston Lia who is also the co-presenter of the event, included taiji, karate, tacfit demo show, fashion show by local artists and live concerts. Joining himself and Datuk Susan Wong Siew Guen on the second day of the HyperLive Festival on August 28.
“I am confident that with the leadership of Datuk Joniston, Mayor Datuk Nurlizah Awang Alip and Sabah Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer Noredah Othman and the combined efforts of industry stakeholders, our tourism will continue to grow.”
Also present were Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) Director General Junaina Eby, Fantastic Golden Sdn Bhd Director Eric Goh and Hilton Kota Kinabalu General Manager Andrew Nisbett.