Francisca Luhong James, 25, from Sarawak was crowned Miss Universe Malaysia 2020 after beating 17 other contestants at a closed-door event in Kuala Lumpur streamed live on the Miss Universe Malaysia website on last Saturday evening.

The Kayan-Kenyah-Iban native of Kuching also won the Best In Evening Gown and Miss Auto Bavaria Elegance subsidiary titles. Graduating with a degree in Mass Communications in 2019, Francisca works as a Public Relations & Marketing Executive, and is also a part-time model.

Francisca was crowned by Miss Universe Malaysia 2019, Shweta

The newly-crowned Francisca said, “It feels surreal, I didn’t expect this but I worked really hard throughout this journey and I’m really, really grateful, and feel blessed for this opportunity, and I would like to say thank you so much for all the love and support that I have received from my parents, friends and followers.”

“My advocacy is on women empowerment and I believe that women empowerment begins with yourself. I realised that when I fell and got back up, a lot of people lost their trust me in during my journey. What I learnt is that believing in yourself is the most important thing in order to achieve your goals. I’ve been on this pageant journey for a very long time and I actually wanted to give up on pageants before, but something told me that I should join Miss Universe Malaysia, so I just followed my heart,” she added.

Placed as first runner-up is Charissa Chong Su Huey, 26, from Selangor, while Serene Chai Yong Bin, 26, from Johor was named second runner-up, and Neha Varma, 22 from Kuala Lumpur was named third runner-up.

L-R, 2nd RU Serene Chai, Winner Francisca Luhong, 1st RU Charissa Chong & 3rd RU Neha Verma

Francisca who received the stunning ‘Reflection’ crown by HABIB featuring a 10-carat diamond set in white gold worth RM2.38 million from the previous winner, Miss Universe Malaysia 2019 Shweta Sekhon, also took home cash and sponsored prizes with a combined value of RM180,000 as well as a full education scholarship from HELP University. She will represent Malaysia on the international stage at the Miss Universe competition, likely to held in the first quarter of 2021 at a yet-to-be-revealed location.

The full list of 12 subsidiary title winners are as follows:

  • Miss Congeniality: Celine Foo, 26
  • Miss Online Personality: Neha Varma, 22
  • Best In Evening Gown: Francisca Luhong James, 25
  • Miss Body Beautiful: Louisa Ananthan, 22
  • Miss HABIB: Neha Varma, 22
  • Miss La Jung Youthful Forever: Serene Chai Yong Bin 蔡咏彬, 26
  • Miss Dermalogica Healthy Skin: Pritha Manivannan, 27
  • Miss Glojas Glowing Beauty: Pritha Manivannan, 27
  • Shawn Cutler Hair Award: Rindsay Rachelle Laige, 22
  • Miss Auto Bavaria Elegance: Francisca Luhong James, 25
  • Miss Strip Body Confidence: Charissa Chong Su Huey, 26
  • Skinz Sanctuary Flawless Skin: Serene Chai Yong Bin, 26

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition was streamed live for the very first time with the 18 finalists and panel of judges present without an audience in line with physical distancing measures. Tickets to the e-Gala live stream were sold to members of the public, and 20 per cent of proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Lighthouse Children Welfare Home Association Kuala Lumpur & Selangor.

Judges panel. Back from left; Shawn Loong, Datin Selwinder Kaur, Carven Ong & Janet Chieng. Front ftom left; Deborah Henry, Dr. Nicholas Lim & Dato’ Hans Isaac

As a new feature to this year’s competition, viewers got to vote for their favourite finalist in three categories, namely Miss Body Beautiful, Best in Evening Gown, and the winner of Miss Universe Malaysia 2020 during the live show.

To stay updated on the latest Miss Universe Malaysia news, visit their Official website at www.missuniversemalaysia.com.my or follow their social media accounts as follows:

Read also: The Live Stream of Miss Universe Malaysia 2020 Happening on Sep 5 | Tickets Open for Sale Now