The coveted title of Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) 2018 has gone to Miss Zahra Khanum, who will represent Singapore at the international Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok, Thailand on Dec 17.
The 23-year-old National University of Singapore sociology graduate beat 14 other finalists at the grand finale, which took place last night at the grand ballroom of One Farrer Hotel, MUS' official venue sponsor.
She bagged $10,000 in cash and prizes worth $45,000, including treatments and services from local spa Beaute Hub.
Miss Khanum, who was raised single-handedly by her mother whom she sees as her greatest pillar of support, said after the crowning: "I didn't expect to win at all. I'm happy, I'm excited, I'm proud of everyone. But most importantly, I'm really happy I was able to make my mum proud."
The first runner-up was rhythm cycling instructor Tiong Jia En, 23, and the second runner-up was 26-year-old realtor Jaslyn Tan, who took home $5,000 and $3,000 cash respectively.
The 15 finalists were evaluated in three segments: Swimwear, evening gown and question-and-answer.
The results were determined by a panel of seven judges, including MUS national director Nuraliza Osman and The New Paper editor Eugene Wee.
MUS 2018 was organised by The New Paper in partnership with the Miss Universe Singapore Organisation.
Mr Wee said: "It was a tough pick because all the girls personified beauty and empowerment in different ways. But Zahra had that extra sparkle, confidence and poise that set her apart."
This article was first published in The New Paper. Permission required for reproduction.