By John Isaac
KUCHING-born Francisca Luhong James made Sarawak proud after she was crowned this year’s Miss Universe Malaysia, beating 17 other finalists.
The 25-year-old Orang Ulu lass was named the winner of Miss Universe Malaysia 2020 after being judged by actor-director-producer Dato’ Hans Isaac, Miss Universe Malaysia 2011 winner Deborah Henry and fashion designer Carven Ong.
Meanwhile, first runner-up went to Charissa Chong, followed by second runner-up Serena Chai and third runner-up Neha Verma.
The grand finale was broadcast live online earlier this evening (Sept 5) on the pageant’s official website for those who had purchased viewing tickets.
The event saw the finalists going through several rounds of evaluation, including an evening gown parade, swimwear and a question-and-answer session with the MC.
According to Borneo Post, her father, James Bungan is of Orang Ulu descent from Ulu Sungai Asap, while her mother Pauline Japok is an Iban from Kanowit.
She said if she wins, she would want to meet her idols — celebrity and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey and former First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama.
“I want to know what is on their minds, how it feels like to talk to inspiring women. I’ve watched plenty of Oprah Winfrey’s shows. I even shed tears watching the Christmas kindness show.
“I want to make children smile and cry with joy too. To see them grow to be successful people and make their family smile, to see them going to school and get the education that they deserve.
“It’s a satisfying feeling that I can never describe. It’s beyond words. Amazing how women can make such wonders,” said Francisca.