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Miss Earth : Interviews : Miss Malaysia : Joey Eng Li Tan

 

 

By Kyle T.

This petite charmer from one of the Philippines' neighboring countries is a pure delight to interview. She had so much to say but begged that her English is not so fluent. From a distance, she appears to be a woman all grown up and ready to face the world. Up close, she is still basically a girl at heart, and it showed in the way she smiles and giggles while being asked questions by Mabuhay Pageants.

Compared to the other candidates who travelled far just to get to the Philippines, you only needed a few hours to get here. So how has your stay been so far?

"…Wonderful! I am enjoying your country a lot! Since Malaysia is near to the Philippines, I am quite familiar with the surroundings already. Your people are so friendly and there are so many places to visit and many food too!"

Who's your roommate?

"Miss Latvia"

Have you learned a little of how to speak her language by now?

"No, not yet, but she speaks English. If there's anything that we don't understand, we communicate by hand or sign language."

Did you have any special preparations for Miss Earth?

"I tried to study a little but since I was only informed that I will finally go to the Philippines 2 days before my departure, so I did not have enough time to prepare. I had to finish my assignments at school and everything. 2 days to do that is not enough."

What are you studying right now?

"I am studying Image Consultancy, it's a special course in the school where I go to."

If you win Miss Earth, what kind of environmental issues do you plan to address?

"…I think that clean water is very important. This is important because everyone needs to drink clean water everyday. And also for the health, if you don't have clean water, then it is dangerous if you get bitten by the mosquiitoes that cause dengue fever. I believe that water is very important for our lives."

Did you come here to win, to place or to just participate?

"…I actually came here for the experience, to make friends…I am not sure if I will win because I can't speak English well and Miss Earth should be good in communicating in English. In my country, I have to speak a lot of language and I'm getting real confused with all the different languages already. At home, my mother speaks Thai with me…and when I go to school I have to speak to my classmates in Bahasa Malaysia…and my father speaks Fookien…and then I have to learn English too….so I'm confused! So sometimes, I want to explain something but I cannot do it well all the time. But I'm trying my best!"

Some people look at beauty queens as larger than life, how will you convince them that you're as normal as anybody else?

"…Everyone, even if you're a superstar or beauty queen, everyone is equal. I am very simple. I just do whatever I can do depending on what responsibility I have been assigned with. (At this point, she suddenly spoke in Bahasa Malaysia to which she apologized because she was already mixing English with her native language. Curiously, I must admit that this made her more adorable.) Sorry with my language! All these other words are entering my mind right now. But basically, I'm really a simple person, especially when I'm with my friends. I try to treat others well, I am polite to them so that they don't think that just because I am a beauty queen that I have to be treated special."

What is the most important value/virtue any woman should have?

"..Of course, a woman should have knowledge, that should make her complete."

Name me one food you cannot resist eating.

"Prawns! Steamed Prawns! The bigger, the better!"

Since this interview will be posted on the internet, do you have any message for your countrymen back home in Malaysia?

"Malaysia boleh!" (Go Malaysia!)