I can’t remember the last time Malaysia placed in the Miss Universe Pageant, save for 1970 when Josephine Lena Wong Jaw Leng made it to the Top 15 (and the Top 10 in swimsuit). Other than that, the country has encountered one failure after another in penetrating the semis or the Top 5 to get a clear shot at the crown.
But 2011 promises to be different and Malaysia is not leaving any stone unturned to make sure that Deborah Henry delivers its very first Miss Universe win. Quite a tall order, if you ask me. But looking at how the organizers have been preparing her for Sao Paulo, I am seriously inclined to believe that it won’t be a mission impossible after all. And if she does pull it off, then what a big boost for the Southeast Asian region where the last titleholder was Thailand’s Porntip Nakhirunkanok in 1988.Consider this. Popular beauty queen maker Ines Ligron has been hired to train and polish Deborah and transform her into someone who can duplicate the Asian victory of Riyo Mori in 2007. Ines knows her stuff and she has built her credibility not on giving false hopes but in producing an actual winner plus strong placers for Japan.
What’s more, the people behind Miss Universe Malaysia have made a 360-degree turn in favor of unconditionally supporting their candidate. Nadine Thomas, last year’s winner, echoed her sentiments in not getting enough back-up while in Las Vegas, and this must have left a mark in the minds of organizers. So instead of putting up a national finals for 2011, Deborah was singled out to be the best and most qualified former beauty queen to bring Sao Paulo (and the Miss Universe Organization) to its knees.
So will the Miss Universe Malaysia Organization (MUMO) and the whole of Malaysia achieve their objective? My answer is a very encouraging yes if everything falls into place and Deborah sustains her current hype as one of the strongest candidates from Asia. The road to victory won’t be an easy one, tricky even. But in all tough challenges, victory is sweeter after passing through the eye of a needle and coming out on top of the thread!
Bring it on, Deb! 😉