PENAMPANG: Melinda Louis created history when she became the first winner of the state-level Unduk Ngadau from Telupid.
The 22-year-old administration account staff from Kampung Gading beat 41 other finalists to win the crown at Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association here yesterday where the state-level Kaamatan celebration was held.
She was crowned by Toh Puan Norlidah R.M. Jasni, the wife of Yang Dipertua Negeri of Sabah, Tun Juhar Mahiruddin.
Fenny Doimis representing Kota Kinabalu City and Meryl Foster Paladius from Tambunan were the first and second runners-up respectively.
Melinda bagged the RM5,000 cash prize sponsored by Guinness Anchor Marketing, a pewter trophy with gold trimming worth RM1,600 sponsored by Huguan Siou (paramount leader) Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, a diploma scholarship from Asian Tourism International College worth RM25,000, crown and jewellery set worth RM8,300 from Diamoney Jewellery Holdings, a Samsung smartphone inclusive of one-year free internet, a gold edition hotel voucher, hamper, Innershine beauty products, Victoria Jackson beauty products, winning sash and a bouquet of flower from the organizing committee.
“I didn’t expect to win this title as all the finalists are very experienced and beautiful in their own ways. However, this winning is a special gift to my district, first time winning the state-level Unduk Ngadau,” said the winner.
“I was chosen to represent Telupid in the state level in 2008 but I did not manage to stand for my district because I had to continue my study,” said the second child of six siblings who took home RM68,800 worth of prizes.
Melinda will be a ‘Huminodun’ of the Kadazan Dusun Murut to promote the tourism of the state for a year, until the next Unduk Ngadau is chosen next year.
She is also expected to carry out social works such as raising funds for charities.
The first runner-up, 18-year-old Fenny, received RM4,000 cash prize sponsored by Guinness Anchor Marketing, a winning pweter trophy with gold trimming worth RM1,400 sponsored by Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili, jewellery set worth RM5,300 from Diamoney Jewellery Holdings, a Samsung handphone inclusive of one-year free internet, hamper, Innershine beauty products and a bouquet of flowers from the organizing committee. Her total prizes are worth RM13,450.
Meryl won a pewter trophy, RM3,000 cash prize, jewellery set, Samsung smartphone with one-year free internet, hamper, Innershine beauty products and a bouquet of flowers, totaling RM9,600.
The fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh winners were Vanessa Samantha Manih of Tanjung Aru, Samantha Sharon C.E. Laujang of Penampang, Milviana Madrigal of Kota Belud and Raemma Justim of Tuaran who received a total of RM4,000 prizes from the sponsors.
After receiving the most votes through the DiGi voting contest, Juslinah Dian Rangga from Tawau was awarded the subsidiary title of Miss Popular Digi.
The winners were judged by five professional judges who evaluated their beauty and IQ level.
The Unduk Ngadau is a tribute to legendary Huminodun, the beauty among the beauties who without hesitation came forth to offer herself to be a sacrificial lamb to save her people from sure death from starvation.
The other finalists for this year’s Unduk Ngadau were Jaimurni Lunduman (Kudat), Joyedeline Birig (Lahad Datu), Steffiana J. Jipanin (Putatan), Patricia Elsa Jimy (Membakut), Joanne Bernadette John (Klang Valley), Queen Tuboh Pauzin (from Pitas), Stacy J. Anggin (Menumbok), Sherillyn Roshilla William (Semporna), Jovilia Umjin (Beluran), Evra Malubin (Kota Marudu), Wedylin Patin (Papar), Meryyen Jol (Ranau), Elester George (Tongod), Marie Christine Sabayoi (Keningau), Charlyn Christopher Sherman (Likas), Ignasia Annabelle Jipanin (Sandakan), Evilin Mathis (Banggi), Betty Jekaria Radius (Kemabong), Dina Chong (Labuan), Elsie R. Marius (Inanam), Lyssa Vanessa Jokoh Benggon (Tamparuli), Heather Deccella Lombunin (Kunak), Rifta Angin (Nabawan), Amerentiana Alik (Sook), Nelly Lynda Abidin (Kinabatangan), Aliana Wandak (Matunggong), Steffi Patrick (Tenom), Robecca Robert (Kuala Penyu), WS Noorsyakirah Sahibin (Pagalungan), Elfera Jane Prisley (Paitan) and Gurmesh Kaur A/P Harjit Singh @ Geraldine (Beaufort).