KUCHING: The Bidayuh community is rejoicing over the achievement of 25-year-old Dewi Liana Seriestha who became the first Bidayuh woman to be crowned Miss Malaysia World 2014 on Saturday.
Bung Bratak Heritage Association president Dato Peter Minos said this was another outstanding achievement for the Bidayuhs after Pandelela Rinong won the silver medal at the London Olympics in 2012.
“Yes, we are very proud of her just as we are happy with Bidayuh Olympian Pandelela Rinong. It is not everyday that a Bidayuh, being a small community in Malaysia, can excel at international level.
“And when Dewi and Pandelela were adjudged tops, we feel that they carry the Bidayuh flag high, apart from that of Malaysia. They become a source of inspiration to all other Bidayuhs — that despite the obstacles and difficulties, they can reach very high,” said Minos, who is also a former president of Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA).
Dewi, who hails from Kampung Tematu near here, defeated 20 other finalists to win the coveted title at Corus Hotel, Jalan Ampang in Kuala Lumpur. She was crowned by her predecessor Melinder Bhuliar, the Miss Malaysia World 2013.
Dewi also won the subsidiary titles of Miss Talent, Miss Personality and Miss Dr Alice awards. She will represent Malaysia at the Miss World 2014 international pageant to be held in London, United Kingdom, on Dec 14. She stands at 179cm, and looks like a formidable contestant representing Malaysia at the Miss World which is also the longest running major international beauty pageant.
Dewi is also a powerhouse of talent, as she is also known as a singer, composer and song writer, and recently an aspiring model and actress. She has written songs, acted in TV dramas and movies and competed in several beauty pageants.
Her most recent achievement in the field of music was 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.
Minos, who used to coordinate national-level Gawai open house celebrations, said he always remembers Dewi as a talented singer apart from her stunning physical appearance.
“She is very good in what she does and she is a confident person. The more we have of such people around, the more this will generate confidence in the Bidayuh community — that what others can achieve, so can the Bidayuhs, and other Malaysians of course,” he said.
Meanwhile, the crowning of Dewi Liana as Miss Malaysia World created a lot of buzz in the social media especially Facebook among Sarawakians who shared the joy of seeing a fellow Sarawakian succeeding at this beauty pageant.
Dewi, in her latest Facebook posting, said she felt very blessed to have won, which she attributed as an early birthday gift for herself since her 25th birthday falls on Sept 7.
“Thanks be to God for making my dream of becoming Miss Malaysia a reality… The best birthday gift ever!” she wrote, and also thanked her family, relatives, friends and sponsors for their support.