KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Christina Liew has extended her warm welcome to 22 contestants of the Miss Scuba International pageant.
They hail from Malaysia, the United Kingdom, United States, Mexico, Germany, Poland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Belize (a country in Central America), Australia, New Zealand, Iran, South Africa, Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea.
She noted that nature has endowed the competitors with both beauty and brains.
Among the professionals are Salvina de Pacheco Kan, 28, an English teacher from Macau; Sarah Young, 28, an interior designer from New Zealand; Noelle Fuentes Uy-Tuazon, 26, an anthropologist from the Philippines; Natalia Magdalena Janoszek, 28, an author and entrepreneur from Poland; Ko Songmi, 24, a costume designer from South Korea; Leung Yan Kuen, 27, an artist from Hong Kong; and Brittany Daniels, 27, an aquatic invasive species research associate from the United States.
On Tuesday, the contestants were transferred from the Tawau Airport to Mabul Water Bungalow on Mabul Island where they will spend nine days engaging in personal training, scuba diving, attending conservation talks and participating in photo shoots and other related activities to boost their confidence level.
“Welcome to Sabah. I wish you all the best and do enjoy your stay in the Land Below The Wind. There is so much to see here, and I am sure you will bring back beautiful memories of Mabul Island and other scenic spots.
“As you play a vital role as ambassadors, it is my hope that you will help promote Malaysia, in particular Sabah, when you return to your respective countries,” said Liew who is also Member of Parliament for Tawau.
The minister has been invited to officiate at the event on Nov 17 at the Magellan Sutera Hotel.
Founder cum president of Miss Scuba International Ltd, Robert Lo said the Miss Scuba International pageant aims to raise awareness on the importance of marine conservation.
Some of the contestants arrived a week ago to undergo training in scuba diving designed to develop their passion for ocean conservation.
On Nov 14, they will leave Tawau for Kota Kinabalu for a two-day grooming session and speech therapy prior to the finals.
“The ladies will be enlightened on environmental issues under the tutelage of WWF Malaysia,” he added.
Also present were the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Datuk Datu Rosmadi Datu Sulai, Sabah Tourism Board General Manager Suzaini Datuk Sabdin Ghani and tourism player Alexander Yee.