Parents touched by grand reception for Dewi

Dewi receives a personal contribution from Henry (second right) and his family. Catherine is at left while Yudhi stands third right.

BAU: The parents of Miss Malaysia World 2014 Dewi Liana Seriestha are touched by the honour accorded by fellow Sarawakians on their daughter’s return to the state after winning the coveted title.

Her mother Catherine Noep Sigit said they were happy to share the triumph with other Sarawakians, and she hoped Dewi can be a good role model to the young people in the state.

She reserved special mention for Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) for making the great effort to organise a homecoming reception specially for Dewi last Saturday.

“We (the parents) are touched by all the accolades, and events organised in honour of our daughter, especially by DBNA,” she said during a reception hosted by DBNA Serapi branch chairman Henry Harry Jinep at Bung Konis, Singai yesterday.

Dewi is the third child of four children by Catherine, herself a former Bidayuh recording artiste in the 1980s from Kamping Tematu, and her husband Yudhi Seriestha, a musician.

Meanwhile, Yudhi who hails from Indonesia, said he was proud to see Dewi being celebrated for her achievement.

He said his family has always believed Dewi would succeed in life, because they have been grooming her since she was young to develop her talents in music and performing arts.

“Our life journey as a family is not an easy one, but we kept on grooming Dewi because she is talented. Dewi represents hope for our family,” he said.

Yudhi also said that despite hailing from Indonesia, he feels like a Bidayuh as he has been living in Kuching for 32 years together with his wife’s family.

Dewi defeated 20 other finalists to win the Miss Malaysia World title during the final in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 30, making her the first Bidayuh woman to do so.

She also won the subsidiary titles of Miss Talent, Miss Personality and Miss Dr Alice.

Prior to joining the Miss Malaysia World pageant, she competed at the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in Hollywood, California, USA, in July this year where she bagged several medals including a gold medal for classical opera.

Meanwhile, Henry said he, like other Bidayuh, are rejoicing over the success of Dewi, because it marked a milestone for the community.

On his part, he said as a successful Bidayuh businessman, he would assist Dewi towards achieving more success at the international level during the grand finals of the Miss World 2014 in London, United Kingdom this December.

“Despite the humble beginnings of the Bidayuh, the community has made leaps and bounds in government administrative sector and the corporate sector. And now, we have a Miss Malaysia, something we could only dream of before,” he said.

He also said Dewi’s success was a result of dedication and hard work, and he hoped this spirit would be emulated by the younger generation.

Meanwhile, Dewi thanked DBNA for the homecoming reception and other events hosted for her. She promised to do her best and bring back honours to Malaysia at the grand finals of Miss World where she will compete against competitors from 130 countries.

“I represent not only Malaysia, but also Sarawak as well as the Bidayuh community, in the grand final and I promise to do my best,” she said. She also sang ‘Kaulah Segalanya’ after her speech to thank her supporters.

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