Larissa to take on Sarawak Tourism Ambassador role after Miss World final

Larissa (centre), flanked by Dr Sim (left) and Shannen, poses for a photocall after the press conference.

– by Geryl Ogilvy

KUCHING, Oct 9: An ambassadorial role awaits Sarawakian beauty Larissa Ping Liew, winner of the 2018 Miss World Malaysia, to promote Sarawak tourism.

Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Larissa, of Chinese and Kenyah parentage, has a lot to offer the state to boost its tourism sector.

Many programmes are in the pipeline, where she can help put Sarawak on the global map. Larissa would spend a year as Tourism Ambassador of Sarawak, during which, she is expected to be a spokesperson for special tourism projects, as well as promoting local attractions, he added.

“There are many programmes involving the Miss World winners that we can do in Sarawak — they are more or less our ambassadors. We are currently planning for activities and programmes, where the winners can help to promote our tourism.

“We are proud of her (Larissa); hopefully she can make the country more proud even further,” Abdul Karim told reporters before the Miss World 2018 Appreciation Dinner at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on Tuesday evening.

Before Larissa embarks on her ambassadorial role for the state tourism, the 68th Miss World final at Sanya, China, on Dec 9, will be her next challenge.

Larissa will represent the country against 120 other national winners from around the globe, where the 2017 Miss World winner Manushi Chillar of India will crown her successor.

“She (Larissa) will be there for a month. There are lots of things that they have to do — there will be training and courses to attend.

“This is not just a beauty pageant — it is not about the showcasing of the looks, the face, but also to promote charitable bodies, involved in charity works and doing good deeds.

“Once you get that title, your life will change for the better. Not many people can be accorded such a title. She is blessed to be the winner,” Abdul Karim said.

The first and second runners-up of the 2018 Miss World Malaysia, Shannen Jade Totten of Kuala Lumpur and Sarawakian Dr Naomi Sim, were also present at the dinner hosted by pageant event organiser Creative Teamlab.

Abdul Karim also expressed hope that the pageant would generate long-term positive publicity for Sarawak. As destinations in the region compete for tourism revenue, he urged Sarawakians to be more creative and bold in diversifying the state’s tourism offerings.

“The hosting of the national pageant affiliated with a global brand is one such example of promoting Sarawak to niche segments, in this case, the fans and followers of beauty pageants in the region,” he said. — DayakDaily