Francisca Luhong James, a 24-year-year-old Dayak native, has been crowned Miss Universe Malaysia 2020, making Sarawak proud
The Kuching-born lass beat 17 other finalists in the grand finale that was broadcast live on Saturday evening, 5 September on the pageant's official website Miss Universe Malaysia Organization (MUMO).
The pageant was originally scheduled for 5 March to be held at The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced its organisers to reschedule it for 5 September and broadcast live virtually.
Selangor's Charissa Chong Su Huey was crowned the first runner-up. She was followed by Johor's Serene Chai Yong Bin and Kuala Lumpur's Neha Verma as the second and third runner up, respectively.
Francisca, meanwhile, also won Best in Evening Gown and Miss Auto Bavaria Elegance titles.
With rich mixed roots in the Kayan-Kenyah-Iban lineage, Francisca is the eighth Sarawakian to win the Miss Universe Malaysia title
She was born to a Kayan father and Iban mother.
Francisca is a Dayak native with rich mixed roots in the Kayan, Kenyah, and Iban lineage.
Her father, James Bungan is of Orang Ulu descent from Ulu Sungai Asap, while her mother Pauline Japok is an Iban from Kanowit, according to a report in Borneo Post Online.
A part-time model, Francisca works in the public relations and marketing field in Kuala Lumpur.
A huge advocate for women empowerment, she runs a movement called Women Rise and is involved in charity works in the rural areas