Indian-Iban lass wins CATS Kumang Gawai 2019 title

Kashwaria (seated) celebrating her victory, flanked by Grandy (right) and Lidya. Also seen are CATS Kumang Gawai 2018 Rysheera Genut Ricky (left), Mukah MP Datuk Hanifah Taib-Alsree and CATS FM chief executive officer Mohamad Iskandar Nawawi.

By Nigel Edgar

KUCHING, May 18: She thought that her chances of winning anything was slim, being of Indian-Iban mixed heritage, but critics were proven wrong when 19-year-old matriculation graduate Kashwaria Panjanathen was crowned the CATS Kumang Gawai 2019 today.

With her confidence high after winning the title, she aims to participate in more beauty pageants in the future.


“I didn’t expect an Indian mix Iban could win this title. That’s why I feel really excited. This shows to all communities that even though you are not fair-skinned, you can still reach your goals,” Kashwaria told reporters.

Asked what her next pageant related plans would be, she answered: “I’m not really sure but I will try to continue participating in more pageants after this.”

Kashwaria revealed that much of her preparations prior to the pageant was just being consistent and punctual in attending the pageant classes, and always leave a good impression.

“Because first impressions are always the best impression, I believe that. My other preparation was doing more research about the questions and answers (during the pageant), and also not to forget to smile,” she said.

Kashwaria not only brought home the title and a tiara, but was also awarded RM5,000 in prize money.

Kashwaria showing off her Ngajat skills during the CATS Kumang Gawai 2019 finals.

All in all there were 10 finalists for the CATS Kumang Gawai 2019 with some coming all the way from Sibu.

Second place went to Grandy Mina Mihim, 24, an Iban from Kuching who was awarded the RM3,000 cash prize.

Not only that, Grandy was also awarded the sponsor’s title Miss Darlie Smiles for having the most lovely smile among all the other finalists, bagging the RM2,000 prize money.

Third place went to a Malay-Iban from Kuching, 24-year-old student Lidya Yusreena Abdul Ellias. She brought home RM2,000 cash prize. — DayakDaily