Malaysia looks for `beauty with brains

Kuala Lumpur: To win the Miss World crown, Malaysia is scouting for a girl who has beauty, brains and compassion.

A vigorous talent scouting going beyond the cities and raising the prize money are among the measures being undertaken this year, the New Straits Times said Monday.

"It is not easy to get a winning candidate. Malaysian girls have so far not managed to bring home that coveted Miss World crown," it said.

One reason is that the compassion displayed by candidates while being interviewed during a pageant has not been convincing.

"We want to do something in a big way by reaching out to people in the `jungle`, not just in towns, and using the media is the best way to reach the masses," said Loo, pageant adviser and ambassador for Hope for Children.

"We`ve seen many beautiful girls walk away with the crown, only to never hear of them again. This year, we have a new objective. We`re determined to find a true jewel among the girls, and we`re going all out to find her," she said.

The Miss Malaysia World 2011 pageant was officially launched in January at the FusionExcel International headquarters in Petaling Jaya.

After grueling auditions around the country, the finals will be held in August at the Sunway Convention Centre.

The winners of the national level contests have walked away after winning. To prevent that, only a half of the prize money, raised to Malaysian Ringgit 200,000 ($66,000) would be paid on winning. The rest would be paid in four installments.

"This will help us pick the most genuine and compassionate girl, not just someone who is looking out for herself," said Loo.

"The main purpose for offering such a large sum of money is to bring out the potential in girls who`ve never thought about joining beauty pageants, such as young ladies from rural areas."

"We also hope the money would be a strong motivational factor for girls who`ve gone overseas. There is much potential there and these beauties can use the money to pay back their student loans and contribute to the country`s economy," said Loo, who was Miss Malaysia Universe 1973.