Kuala Lumpur, Saturday, 25 February 2017 – Chinese-Brazilian model and aspiring actress Samantha Katie James from Kuala Lumpur was crowned Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 at the Gala Night event held at The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur on 23rd February.

The 170cm tall beauty who turns 23 in November hails from Klang, and is an only child. Discovered as a model when she was 17, she has walked the runways internationally, appeared in TV commercials, and acted in an Indonesian and Chinese film production. This is Samantha’s second attempt at the Miss Universe Malaysia competition, as she was previously a finalist of the Miss Universe Malaysia 2013 pageant.

Fresh after her crowning, Samantha said “I’ve come a long way, I honestly never expected this because everyone here was so amazing; they performed so well, such smart, beautiful girls. The only thing that I had and I kept telling myself was to keep believing in what I wanted and keep visualising that I will be there, and I finally reached my dreams. I joined this before when I was 18, and I did not make it. I wasn’t ready then but I knew this time around that I'm ready and I’m here now!”

Samantha will be representing Malaysia in her capacity as Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 on the international stage at the Miss Universe competition. The former Miss Universe Malaysia 2016 Kiran Jassal was present to crown the new queen.

The final results of the Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 competition are as follows:

Winner: Samantha Katie James
1st runner-up: Dana Low
2nd runner-up: Ollemadthee Kunasagaran
3rd runner-up: Laura Simon

Subsidiary titles were awarded to the following finalists:

Miss Beautiful Skin by senZues: Erica Tan
Miss Naza Maserati Elegance: Sonia Naidu
Miss Glamorous Eyes by Bausch + Lomb: Erica Tan
Miss Tsubaki Crowning Glory: Samantha Katie James
Miss Natural Beauty by Clinic RX: Peh Leon

The grand Gala Night event was hosted by local personalities Joey G and Amelia Henderson while guests were entertained with performances by singer Vince Chong, comedian Harith Iskander, and Chinese artiste Zhen Xiao.

The panel judges at the Gala Night responsible for the final selection of the winners and runner-ups are former Miss Universe Malaysia 2004 Andrea Fonseka, actor-producer Dato’ Hans Isaac, film-TV actor Debbie Goh, fashion designer Rizman Nordin of Rizman Ruzaini, founder of Shawn Cutler chain of hair salons Shawn Loong, founder of Ceres Jewels Dato’ Sri Navneet Goenka and Marketing Manager of NBCUniversal International Networks, Judrieana Jamaludin.

The Gala Night saw the attendance of over 800 guests which included members of the royal family, local business and fashion leaders as well as celebrities such as Amber Chia, Dato’ Yasmin Yusuff, Lina Teoh, Nadine Ann Thomas, Patricia K, Venice Min, Chef Wan, Papi Zak, Rezza Shah, Mark O’Dea, Vanessa Chong, Moots, Emmeline Ng and more.

As Miss Universe Malaysia 2017, Samantha will have an opportunity of a lifetime to travel abroad and represent Malaysia at the Miss Universe pageant to be held in the later part of 2017. Additionally, she will also receive a cash prize of RM50,000 by Miss Universe Malaysia Organization, RM2,000 cash by main sponsor senZues and sponsored prizes worth over RM150,000.

This annual pageant is jointly presented by Fashion Valet & MyMotor with senZues as the main sponsor. Official partners for this year are ash be nimble, Bausch & Lomb, Ceres Jewels, Cleanbites, Clinic RX, D R Events, Fitology, Intermark Mall, La Juiceria, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Malibu Beachwear, Maserati, mizzue, Sephora, Shawn Cutler, Targus and Tsubaki. The Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 pageant is supported by Official Media Partner The Star, Official TV Channel DIVA, and Official Online Partner

The crowning of The Next Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 will be broadcasted on DIVA on Wednesday, 15 March 2017, 7.00 PM and online via at 8.30PM.