KUCHING: Miss Malaysia World 2014 Dewi Liana Seriestha is hoping her success will inspire the younger generation, especially those from the Bidayuh community.
The talented 25-year-old, who was crowned in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 30, was clearly touched by the hundreds who showed up at the Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) headquarters yesterday to warmly welcome her.
“We have to dare to dream big. That is what drove me to this level,” said Dewi, who started to show her talents in singing, acting and modelling from a very young age.
“It is now not only about me as I will be representing Malaysia, Sarawak and the whole Bidayuh community,” she said of the Miss World pageant to be held in London on Dec 14.
Dewi, who hails from Kampung Tematu near here, defeated 20 other finalists to win the Miss Malaysia World title — the first Bidayuh woman to do so.
She also won the subsidiary titles of Miss Talent, Miss Personality and Miss Dr Alice.
On her preparations for the global competition, Dewi said she would fly to the United Kingdom in early November for a month-long coaching programme to prepare her mentally and physically for the Miss World grand finale.
Prior to the Miss Malaysia 2014 pageant, Dewi also won a gold medal for classical opera and three silver medals for her vocals in the Contemporary, World Music and Variety categories during the World Championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles, California in July.
During the same championship, she also won a medal for the Industry Award and a plaque for the Classical Champion of the World.
Meanwhile, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communication Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong said Dewi’s success is a reflection of the Bidayuh community’s efforts to succeed at national and international level.
He thanked Dewi’s parents for their endless support in helping her reach major milestones.
“The competition in London will take a whole new perspective as there will be more competitors from all over the world,” said Manyin, who is also DBNA chief advisor.