Miss Universe Singapore 2017 finalists highlight their passions
With this year's theme for the contest being 'Vie for a Beautiful Cause', finalists highlight what they are passionate about
The Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) 2017 finalists were revealed yesterday at a press conference at the Singapore Turf Club.
Nineteen of this year's 20 contestants were at the event. We spoke to three of the women who are different in their own ways.
Nadiah Sapuan, 24, is not just a pretty face.
Although the flight attendant won modelling contests like the ITE-Carrie Next Top Model and Cleo Runway Search in 2012, and was a top 20 finalist in The New Paper New Face that year, she is a tomboy at heart.
Since young, Nadiah has had an interest in two-wheelers.
She owns two motorbikes - a KTM EXC 200 dirt bike and a Honda PGM 3 sport bike.
She got her licence when she was 18 and whenever she is free, she heads for Johor Baru with friends to dirtbike.
She is able to do power slides, trek up hills and jump over puddles, and is learning how to do a wheelie.
Nadiah, who studied sports management at the Institute of Technical Education College East, told The New Paper: "I have never pictured myself becoming a model or even a cabin crew member because I enjoy sports and I did not really have too much of a feminine side.
"But I wanted to try out pageants because it seemed interesting and I hoped to prove people wrong, about how girls cannot have both feminine and masculine sides."
Nadiah loves the adrenaline rush she gets when she is on a motorbike, and her favourite rider is Italian racer Valentino Rossi as "he is so humble yet talented".
She added: "I would love to meet him someday and learn some tricks from him."
Through MUS, Nadiah wants to increase awareness in gender equality.
She said: "There is no such thing as women who can't do things men can.
"As long as you're yourself, don't be afraid to be different."
When she was pursuing a degree in electrical engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS), she was one of just six womentaking the course.
Tanooja Rai, 27, has always had a thing for mathematics and science, and remains passionate about them as a cyber defence accounts manager.
Although she initially wanted to study life sciences, she discovered that engineering was not restricted to just technical details.
Rai told TNP: "I was exposed to business proposals and presentations, which are what I am really good at so I wanted to venture into that field even after graduating."
Her interest in business rose further after she was chosen to tour big companies such as Apple and Facebook at Silicon Valley in San Francisco as part of the NUS iLead programme, which focuses on entrepreneurship.
She attended workshops and training sessions and was one of the 10 out of about 100 applicants chosen for it.
Although she is no stranger to cameras and photo shoots as a model, this is Rai's first time taking part in a pageant. She wants to show others that with determination, even a rookie can win a competition.
Said Rai: "I went into the auditions with no expectations, but now that I managed to get this far, I want to use the platform to be a voice for women -and even men out there - as a role model."
After watching the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth when she was 12, Shonalie Raha developed a great interest in climate action and environmental studies.
She graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, with a degree in environmental studies last year.
The 23-year-old told TNP: "I am lucky to have found my calling at such a young age."
She has taken part in many activities and events as an advocate against climate change.
In 2015, while Raha was in Canada, she was in a steering committee that led 25,000 people in a march for climate justice during the winter.
She also organised a climate conference for about 150 young people in Singapore in April .
On the two achievements,Raha, who will start work at a strategic communications company next month, said: "I am really glad I had those experiences as it is a great feeling seeing your hard work transform into actual numbers."
She is also the manager for the Singapore Eco Film Festival this weekend, which celebrates sustainable environmental solutions.
Raha, who made the top 20 in the New Face pageant last year, said: "I joined New Face to try something new, but MUS will give me a holistic experience as I can do so much more with the platform I have.
"I want to educate and empower people so they know they have the potential to change the world too."
Miss Universe Singapore contestants revealed
With the theme of "Vie for a Beautiful Cause" this year, Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) is back. A new batch of 20 finalists will be competing for the coveted crown at the grand finals at Resorts World Sentosa on Oct 11.
It will be co-organised by The New Paper and the Miss Universe Singapore Organisation. The contestants were revealed yesterday at Singapore Turf Club, the pageant's corporate social responsibility partner this year.
There was also a lunch spread at yesterday's press conference provided by Mum's Kitchen Catering.
This year, MUS will also be collaborating with Singapore Children's Society Sunbeam Place, where contestants will be involved in charity work.
The organisation's director, Ms Rachel Tan, told TNP: "The ladies carry themselves with confidence.
"I hope they will be able to (impart some lessons to) the children, in terms of becoming more confident in themselves."
For this year's grand finale, there will be an exciting showcase of fashion and music as the 20 finalists strut on the catwalk in their swimwear.
There will also be special guest performances by renowned local artistes and a sumptuous five-course dinner.
Tickets for individual tables at the event are priced from $3,888 to $6,000, or $400 a seat.
They are available from tnp.sg/mustickets