Competition in this year’s Miss Hong Kong pageant has been taken to a higher level after a well-qualified young musician took the media spotlight.
Enter Ada Pong Cheuk-yan (龐卓欣), a Manhattan School of Music opera graduate and a Diocesan Girls’ School classmate of Louisa Mak Ming-sze (麥明詩), the hot favorite, who scored 10 As on her school certificate exams and is a Cambridge University law graduate.
The classroom-to-TVB rivalry stands to make this year’s pageant, which traditionally relies heavily on beauty, not brains, much more interesting.
Like Mak, Pong comes from a good family.
Her father is Paul Pong Po-lam, managing director of Pegasus Fund Managers Ltd., and her aunt is Scarlett Pong Oi-lan, a Sha Tin district councilor.
When asked about his daughter’s participation in the contest, Paul Pong, who contributes regular financial commentaries to the media, including EJ Insight, acknowledged that her rival, Mak, is very strong academically.
“But the contest is judged on all fronts, so you never know the outcome,” he said.
Pong jokingly compared his daughter to an excellent stock with potential to perform and said she would always be the champion in his heart.
Ada Pong has so far avoided pursuing a career in music and works for retail chain Hollister as an assistant shop manager.
Unlike Mak, who is perceived as a perfect daddy’s girl, Pong comes across as a more forceful character.
Last year, she sued a former boyfriend in New York for custody of the toy poodle they used to share.
Local media have nicknamed Ada “Big Head” because she is so articulate.
Her Facebook page proudly shows off pictures of her with her boyfriend, Solomon Sun, in the Maldives.
Described by netizens as “fair-skinned, rich and beautiful”, Pong is already tipped to be in the final three with Mak, whose No. 1 status was secured in the latest “People’s choice for Miss Hong Kong” survey on the popular online website Golden Forum.
This pageant would be even more fun if Yoyo Shiu Yiu-yiu joined it.
The daughter of Stephen Shiu Yeuk-yuen, chairman of Easy Repay Finance & Investment Ltd., debuted at a company press conference as a pleasant surprise.
Some people compared her to Crystal Chow Ching, former secretary of the Hong Kong Federation of Students.
Yoyo, 21, just graduated from the University of Hong Kong in philosophy and politics.
When she was asked if she would take part in the Miss Hong Kong contest, she replied: “Why does everybody ask me the same question? They are very competitive academically …”
Yoyo will start a job next month with an investment bank.
But who knows? Things may change: when she was seven, she told Asia TV she would like to study in the United States as an archeologist specializing in the study of dinosaurs.
When asked again about Miss Hong Kong, she came up with a cute answer: “It’s not for me, but possibly for my younger sister.”
Her sister, Shiu Sheung-sheung, 18, just graduated from Belilios Public School.
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