Francisca Luhong James
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Miss Universe Malaysia 2020 was held as a closed-door event and was streamed live for the very first time with the 18 finalists and panel of judges present without any physical audience. The tickets to the e-gala were sold to the public, and 20 percent of proceeds from ticket sales were donated to the Lighthouse Children Welfare Home Association Kuala Lumpur & Selangor. Miss Universe Malaysia introduced a new feature to the competition, allowing viewers to vote for their favorite finalist in three categories - Miss Body Beautiful, Best in Evening Gown, and the winner of Miss Universe Malaysia 2020 during the live show.
The evening began with the introduction of the 18 finalists wearing beautiful cocktail dresses by Doublewoot, then followed by the swimwear round by Owl; in the evening gown segment, the finalists wore their choice of evening gowns that were decked with exclusive diamonds and gemstones jewelry by HABIB. The e-Gala panel of judges consisted of seven prominent figures - Dato’ Hans Isaac (Actor, Director & Producer), Datin Selwinder Kaur (CEO of Glojas by Smart International Aesthetic), Dr. Nicholas Lim (Medical Director & Aesthetic Medical Practitioner of La Jung Aesthetic Clinic), Deborah Henry (Miss Universe Malaysia 2011), Carven Ong (Creative Designer of Carven Ong Couture), and Janet Chieng (Executive Director of Esthetics International).
Judges panel. Back from left; Shawn Loong, Datin Selwinder Kaur, Carven Ong & Janet Chieng. Front from left; Deborah Henry, Dr. Nicholas Lim & Dato' Hans Isaac
Francisca Luhong James, 25, from Sarawak, took home the ‘Reflection’ crown of Miss Universe Malaysia 2020 that was produced by HABIB, HABIB featuring a 10-carat diamond set in white gold worth RM2.38 million from the previous winner, along with RM180,000 in cash and prizes, as well as a full education scholarship from HELP University. Ms. James will represent Malaysia on the international stage at the Miss Universe competition, likely to held in the first quarter of 2021 at a yet-to-be-revealed location.
Francisca Luhong James, Miss Universe Malaysia 2020
The newly crowned Francisca said, “I’m really, really grateful, and feel blessed for this opportunity, and I would like to say thank you so much for all the love and support that I have received from my parents, friends, and followers. What I learned is that believing in yourself is the most important thing in order to achieve your goals. I have been on this pageant journey for a very long time and I actually wanted to give up on pageants before, but something told me that I should join Miss Universe Malaysia, so I just followed my heart.”