Malaysia beauty pageants back in the limelight

LAST year, Miss Grand Malaysia 2021 Lishalliny Kanaran hogged the limelight when she won “The Best National Costume” during the pageant finals in Thailand. All eyes were on her Ulek-Mayang-inspired costume featuring seven amazing mannequins.

It was a perfect way to close the year 2021 after a long Movement Control Order (MCO) that prevented many events from taking place.

Malaysia has never been easy when it comes to organising beauty pageants. There are many challenges and stringent rules, and it is even more during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Lim Siew Cheng, the Director of Yinzi Event & Marketing, the organiser of three major beauty pageants – Mrs Malaysia Universe, Mrs Malaysia Planet and Mrs Malaysia Petite, the pandemic has caused many contestants to withdraw from participating during the MCO because their priority is to focus on their health and children well-being. 

Madam Lim Siew Cheng, the Director of Yinzi Event & Marketing, the organiser of three major beauty pageants (left) – Mrs Malaysia Universe, Mrs Malaysia Planet and Mrs Malaysia Petite – and writer Francis Yip


However, that doesn’t mean that people are not interested in beauty pageants anymore. They do. As a matter of fact, Mrs Malaysia Planet 2021 and Mrs Malaysia Petite 2021 were held successfully with full house at the end of last year under strict SOP.

The two pageants saw 18 participants from different states vying for the coveted titles and three were over 60 years old.

“It is important that beauty pageants allow those even in their golden years able to demonstrate their confidence and do things that they wanted to do but missed out during their youth. 

“Beauty pageants after the pandemic will continue to uphold their principles of empowering women and celebrating their beauty, personality, talent and charisma. The pandemic may have changed the way we manage the pageants but not our principles,” said Lim.

Virtual or physical?

During the MCO, many people may think that beauty pageants will eventually become a virtual event even after the pandemic. Will that happen?

Lim who has over 10 years of organising beauty pageants didn’t think this will be happening because people still love to have a crowd in front of them. They want their family members to be around to support them.

“No crowd, no kick!” she exclaimed.

Moving forward, 2022 and beyond will be a game changer for beauty pageants. We have already seen how Miss Universe has evolved over the decades. Pageants are not just about beauty with brains but also about bringing the women community of diverse backgrounds and all size and shape together to celebrate women empowerment.

One thing is certain for Madam Lim, her upcoming pageant which is Mrs Malaysia Universe 2022 will definitely be an event to check out. It is a pageant that will give equal opportunity to women, especially single mothers to build their confidence and self-esteem.

“We want to help these women and make them feel respected and loved even more. The pageant will be so much grander than ever. After all, it was postponed for 2 years due to the pandemic. Stay tuned,” said Lim.


 Francis Yip is an award-winning writer and HRDF-certified Trainer. He is also the CEO of Franciswriter Dot Com and WORDerful Learning Sdn Bhd and guest lecturer in The One Academy.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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