Miss Universe Malaysia

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Miss Universe Malaysia
  • 1962; 62 years ago (1962)
HeadquartersKuala Lumpur
Miss Universe
Official language

The Miss Universe Malaysia is an annual national beauty pageant and an organization that selects Malaysia's representative to the annual Miss Universe contest. On occasion, when the winner does not qualify (due to age or any other reason), a runner-up is sent.

The reigning Miss Universe Malaysia is Serena Lee of Kuala Lumpur. She was crowned on 27 August 2023 and represented her country at Miss Universe 2023 in El Salvador.[1]


The competition was first held in 1964 when the pageant's title was known as "Miss Malaysia" until 1969[2] and "Miss Malaysia Universe" from 1970 until 2009 also "Miss Malaya" in 1962 and 1963. No national competition were held in 1968, 2011 and 2021.[3][4] The pageant was founded in 1962 by Mr. Jaycee Liu Chang Lan who then became the first national director of the pageant.[5] The first franchisee, who signed the contract with Miss Universe Organization was the Petaling Jaya Rotary Club. The pageant was registered under Beyond Entity Sdn. Bhd. in 2009 and MYEG Services Berhad as the franchise holder until 2022.[6]

Malaya was first invited to compete in Miss Universe 1954 but due to so many reasons, the winner was competed as Miss Singapore instead.[7] In 1964, Miss Universe Malaysia pageant was held in Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur for the first time and has been organized annually since 1969. More than eight thousands spectators were in the stadium to witnessed the first ever Miss Universe Malaysia contest. The contest was then won by Angela Filmer from Selangor where she had the rights to compete in Miss Universe 1964 pageant in Miami, Florida, United States which also makes her the second woman from Malaysia to ever competed in Miss Universe stage after Sarah Alhabshee Abdullah in 1962.[8] However, at the time, Malaysia had not yet been formed.[9] Malaysia was also once withdrawn in Miss Universe 1963. The Malaysian representative for the 12th edition was Nik Azizah Nik Yahya, from Kelantan, nevertheless she was not able to present during the pageant due to unknown reason.[10]

The pageant was first televised in the 1970s. From 2010 to 2017, the pageant was broadcast on Diva and 8TV. From 2017 to 2019, the pageant was broadcast on hurr.tv, which also then became the official online channel.[11] The current official media partner for Miss Universe Malaysia is The Star, an English-language daily newspaper since 2003 until now.[12]

On 11 May 1995, the Government of Selangor issued a fatwa in prohibiting every Muslim woman in Malaysia from joining and competing in any national pageant that sends the winner to an international pageant such as Miss Universe.[13] The fatwa regarding the banning of Muslim women in participating in beauty pageants was finalized through the government gazette on 8 February 1996.[14] The fatwa has been recently issued in Penang on 11 May 2017.[15]


In 2010, the Miss Malaysia Universe was revamped by then national director, Andrea Fonseka, a former Miss Malaysia Universe 2004 and the pageant changed its name to Miss Universe Malaysia Organization, and moved its headquarters from Kuala Lumpur to Petaling Jaya, Selangor precisely at the MYEG Services Berhad Malaysia building.[16] On 3 November 2012, Andrea stepped down as national director and the position was given to then Miss Malaysia Universe 2003, Elaine Daly.[17] Elaine held the position for a year before it was given to Carey Ng, a former Miss Universe Malaysia 2013. The first pageant production under Carey Ng's auspices was the 2014 competition. On 3 February 2016, she resigned shortly after the Miss Universe Malaysia 2016 competition due to several controversies[18] and again, was replaced by Elaine Daly who has held the position of national director since the resignation of Carey Ng.[19][20][21]


Ever since the pageant's inception in 1964, the country had only placed once which was in 1970 by Josephine Lena Wong.[22] Miss Universe Malaysia 2020, a Sarawakian lass, Francisca Luhong James was ought to end the 50 years of unplacement for Malaysia in Miss Universe yet the fate was not on her side as she was unable to enter the first cut in Miss Universe 2020.[23] Malaysia currently holds the longest streaks of unplacement in Miss Universe beauty pageant.

In 2021, the Miss Universe Malaysia Organization decided to withdraw from participating in the 70th edition in Eilat, Israel due to travel restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.[24] Malaysia's withdrawal marks the second time the country did not compete in the competition since 1962.[25]

Miss Universe Malaysia 2022 Controversy

Due to some controversies that emerged on social media platforms, the winner of Miss Universe Malaysia 2022, Lesley Cheam was called into questioning by beauty pageant fans across the country.[26] The finale was also held privately with no live telecast, which had raised doubts among the pageant fans. Fans petitioned for Ajunee Kaur, the 1st runner-up of Miss Universe Malaysia 2022, to represent Malaysia at Miss Universe.[27] However, the Miss Universe Malaysia organization has yet to post a reply regarding the controversy.[28]


On 8 February 2023, a new Miss Universe Malaysia organization was formed under the same ownership with Miss Universe Indonesia.[29] The license was co-owned by an Indonesian artist, Datin Wira Poppy Capella Swastika, which was also the national director of the pageant under Just Capella Sdn. Bhd. management.[30] The press launch of the pageant was held at The St. Regis Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on 17 February 2023.[31] Present were the Miss Universe and Miss Universe Malaysia team, Miss Universe 2022, R'Bonney Gabriel, second runner-up and top 5 of Miss Universe 2022, Andreína Martínez and Gabriëla Dos Santos, respectively.[32]

However on 12 August 2023, the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) decided to cancel the Miss Universe Malaysia 2023 pageant almost immediately after the controversy occurred in Miss Universe Indonesia.[33][34] MUO also terminated their franchise contract with Datin Wira Poppy Capella as the owner and national director for both Miss Universe Malaysia and Indonesia.[35][36]


In 1962, Malaya debut in the Miss Universe pageant.[37][38] Since the formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963, the Malayan candidates began to compete as Miss Malaysia.[39] The modern pageant is attended by participants from various city from the thirteen states and three federal territories (Kuala Lumpur and Selangor are usually represented by more than one participant), for a total of 18 to 20 participants.

State competitions

Since 1963, each state holds a regional competition to choose their delegate for the Miss Universe Malaysia pageant. The state winners hold the title "Miss (State) Universe" for the year of their reign.[40] The state pageants were discontinued since then. These were the following regional competition that sent their delegate to Miss Universe Malaysia pageant:

The most successful state is Selangor, which has had the most semi-finalists and runner-ups including ten winners. Other successful states include Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Sarawak, Penang, and Sabah. The least successful states are Putrajaya, placing only once in the history of the pageant; Labuan, which has only placed twice; and Negeri Sembilan, which gained its only crown in 2015. The states which has not (yet) win any crown were Labuan and Perlis.


Year Date Venue of Competition Host State Entrants
2022 7 October M Resort and Hotel, Damansara Kuala Lumpur 15
2020 5 September Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya Selangor 18
2019 7 March Majestic Araneta Auditorium, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur 18
2018 11 January 18
2017 23 February 17
2016 30 April Palace of the Golden Horses Hotel, Seri Kembangan Selangor 14
2015 17 April Shangri-La Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail Kuala Lumpur 17
2014 19 December 2013 Setia City Convention Centre, Shah Alam Selangor 19
2013 10 December 2012 17
2012 10 November 2011 Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre, Shah Alam 19
2011 11 January Smoke and Fire Variety Club, Gardens Mall Kuala Lumpur 10
2010 16 May Royale Chulan Hotel, Jalan Conlay 18
2009 30 May 18
2008 30 May St. Giles Gardens Hotel, Mid Valley City 13
2007 21 April The Mines Resort, Seri Kembangan Selangor 16
2006 19 April Royale Chulan Hotel, Jalan Conlay Kuala Lumpur 13
2005 30 April 13
2004 16 April 13
2003 11 April Hotel Istana, Bukit Bintang 16
1990 23 April Genting Highlands, Bentong Pahang 15
1989 19 March Hyatt Saujana Hotel, Shah Alam Selangor 16
1979 28 April Merlin Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail Kuala Lumpur 21
1978 18 May Merlin Hotel, Lebuh Penang, George Town Penang 17
1977 30 April Federal Hotel, Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur 14
1973 10 June Merlin Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail 13
1971 12 June 13
1970 29 May Fortuna Hotel, Bukit Bintang 13
1969 23 June Johor Diamond Jubilee Hall, Grand Mutiara Hotel Johor 11
1967 30 June Asrama Perak, Tambun, Ipoh Perak 10
1965 12 June Stadium Merdeka, City Centre Kuala Lumpur 14
1964 13 June 14


Since 2023, in order to compete in Miss Universe Malaysia, these are the requirements for participants of the Miss Universe Malaysia election:[41]

  • Must be born female;
  • must be between the ages of 18 and 28 years old on the pageant date;
  • must be at least 168 cm height and above;
  • must have never been arrested or convicted of any crime;
  • must have never modeled for any sexually explicit or pornographic materials, artistic nude is acceptable but must be approved by the organization;
  • must be in good physical and mental health and have no known current sickness that can be contagious;
  • must be committed to adhering to all the pageant rules and regulations upon acceptance;
  • must not be under any commercial contract with any agency at the time of appearing for the audition. The applicant once is shortlisted cannot be a part of any other commercial contract


The oldest woman to win Miss Universe Malaysia is Miss Universe Malaysia 2011, Deborah Henry of Kuala Lumpur, at 26 years old.[42] Maznah Ali, of Johor, the first runner-up in Miss Malaysia 1967 and the titleholder of Miss Malaysia 1968 was the first to ever compete in two international pageants on the same year: Miss Universe and Miss International.[43] The tallest Miss Universe Malaysia is Miss Universe Malaysia 2004, Andrea Fonseka, of Penang at 6 feet and 0 inch (183 cm).[44]

The first Malay winner to ever win the title was Nik Azizah Nik Yahya of Kelantan in 1963; the first Eurasian winner was Angela Filmer of Selangor in 1964; the first Hispanic winner was Patricia Augustus of Penang in 1965;[45] the first Chinese winner was Helen Lee of Perak in 1966;[46] the first Siamese winner was Monkam Siprasome of Kedah in 1967;[47] the first Caucasian winner was Yvette Batterman of Selangor in 1971; the first Indian winner was Lucy Narayanasamy of Selangor in 1993;[48] the first Chindian winner was Joannabelle Ng of Sabah in 2009;[49] and the first Indigenous winner was Francisca Luhong James of Sarawak in 2020.[50]

Crowns of Miss Universe Malaysia

The crown of Miss Universe Malaysia has changed numerously since 1964.

  • Elegance Club Crown (2008–2010)[51]
  • Suhara Jewel Crown (2011–2012) — This crown resembles the Coventry Crown of Miss Universe. Created for Miss Universe Malaysia by the Suhara Jewel Art.[52]
  • Rafflesia Crown (2013) — The tiara consists of 229 freshwater pearls, six blue sapphires, diamonds and adorned with white gold and designed in floral motif priced at RM500,000 (US$121 thousand), was designed by its director Winnie Sin.[53] The crown was a reflection of Rafflesia The Pearl Centre's 10th anniversary in the entertainment and jewellery making business.
  • Ceres Jewel Crown (2014–2015) — The crown was made by Ceres Jewel Company and worth at RM27,000. Furnished with 18K white gold ring consisting of 37 pieces totaling to 1.82 carats of white and rare champagne fancy colored diamonds.[54]
  • Aquamarine Crown (2016–2018) — This crown drawn was inspiration from the roaring ocean waves, the fascinating shades and colors of the ocean water, these elements embodied a woman with nature's wonder. The crown estimated to be worth US$1.3 million.[55] The whole production process, from the first sketches to the production itself, took about six months.
  • Reflection Crown (2019–2022) — Features a 10-carat diamond set in white gold and was conceptualized to represent strength, power, courage, creativity, self-respect and love. The crown was named such as it resonates with the values and beauty reflected in each finalist. The crown valued at RM2.38 million (US$580 thousand)[56]

Recent titleholders

Year State Miss Universe Malaysia Placement at Miss Universe Special awards Ref
2023 Kuala Lumpur Serena Lee Unplaced [57]

See also


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  2. ^ "MISS PENANG, 19-YEAR OLD SABRINA LOO (CENTRE) WAS DECLARED ' …". www.nas.gov.sg. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  3. ^ Ismail, Yus. "MISS MALAYSIA/UNIVERSE 1978 GRAND FINAL. THE CONTEST REVIEW. | | Malaysia Pageant News". Retrieved 2021-10-05.
  4. ^ Sathiabalan, S. Indra. "Beauty and her purpose". www.thesundaily.my. Retrieved 2022-04-28.
  5. ^ Ismail, Yus. "THE MISS MALAYSIA/UNIVERSE 1964 CONTEST. CONTESTANTS' LINE UP. | | Malaysia Pageant News". Retrieved 2021-04-18.
  6. ^ "Beauties inducted into Hall of Fame | The Star". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2021-05-02.
  7. ^ "'Miss Malaya' 1953 Contender?". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. 26 July 1952. Retrieved 2022-08-16.
  8. ^ Ismail, Yus. "Sarah Al Habshee Abdullah. Miss Malaya Universe 1962. Related Article Found. | | Malaysia Pageant News". Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  9. ^ "The formation of Malaysia is on 16 September 1963 - Free Essay Example by Essaylead". Essaylead. 2019-03-12. Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  10. ^ "1963". 2012-02-07. Archived from the original on 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2021-10-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  11. ^ "Sponsors". Miss Universe Malaysia Organization. Retrieved 2021-04-18.
  12. ^ "17 to vie for Miss Malaysia title | The Star". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  13. ^ "Laman Web Rasmi Jabatan Mufti Negeri Selangor - Fatwa Tentang Penyertaan Wanita Islam Dalam Pertandingan Ratu Cantik". www.muftiselangor.gov.my. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  14. ^ "Mufti WP: Haram wanita Islam sertai pertandingan ratu cantik". Malaysiakini. 2013-07-20. Retrieved 2023-03-21.
  15. ^ "JAKIM : E-SMAF V1". e-smaf.islam.gov.my. Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  16. ^ Jeremiah, Geraldine. "Miss Universe Malaysia Pageant Rebranded". The Star. Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  17. ^ "It's all over for Andrea Fonseka". www.asiaone.com. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  18. ^ "Beauty Queen Carey Ng cyber-attacked by MUMO fans | theHive.Asia". 2015-04-21. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  19. ^ "About mumo". Miss Universe Malaysia Organization. Retrieved 2021-04-18.
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  30. ^ BERNAMA (2023-10-02). "Just Capella to Bring Fresh Energy to Beauty Pageant Industry". BERNAMA. Retrieved 2023-02-17.
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  32. ^ Times, I. D. N.; Prima, Berkat. "9 Potret R'Bonney Gabriel, Miss Universe 2022 saat Berada di Malaysia". IDN Times (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2023-03-21.
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  35. ^ "Malaysian Beauty Pageant FC on Instagram: "Breaking News! MUO Cancel Miss Universe Malaysia 2023! Omg But we understand and will correspond accordingly with MUO. Lets Respect the Decision 🙏🏼😭 #mbpfc #info #sad #news #breakingnews"". Instagram. Retrieved 2023-08-13.
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  40. ^ Ismail, Yus. "Miss Perak Universe 1975. Old Newspaper Cutting. | | Malaysia Pageant News". Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  41. ^ "Malaysian Beauty Pageant FC on Instagram: "Dear Malaysian ladies! Application for Miss Universe Malaysia is now open! So MUM mencari yang lahir sebagai wanita, berusia 18-28 tahun dan tidak berkahwin/mengandung. Bermakna MUM Malaysia tidak mengikuti format baru yang diberitahu oleh Bunda Anne.Kecuali, kali ini semua wanita Malaysia boleh join tidak kira agama. Sbb tiada dinyatakan disini. So Lets Tag all of The Malaysian Ladies that u think can join Miss Universe Malaysia 2023!! Link admin dah letak di FB mbpfc dan di Story IG ya ♥️🙏🏼 Good luck everyone @missuniverse_malaysia #mbpfc #info #hebahan"". Instagram. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
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  49. ^ Imblogger@sh ™. "Joannabelle Ng, Miss Malaysia 2009". all about indomee. Retrieved 2021-01-05.
  50. ^ Sunday, 06 Sep 2020 09:10 AM MYT. "Kuching's Francisca Luhong James wins Miss Universe Malaysia title | Malay Mail". www.malaymail.com. Retrieved 2020-09-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  51. ^ "Nadine Ann Thomas memenangi gelaran ratu cantik Miss Universe Malaysia 2010". Retrieved 2021-05-25.
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  55. ^ Tan, Thomas. "Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 Finalists Visit Official Crown Sponsor". Citizens Journal Malaysia. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  56. ^ "HABIB was the official Jewellery Partner for Miss Universe Malaysia pageant in 2019". www.habibjewels.com. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  57. ^ @missuniverse_malaysia (28 August 2023). "Presenting the newly crowned Miss Universe Malaysia 2023, Ms Serena Lee". Retrieved 28 August 2023 – via Instagram.