The Star
Friday, May 7, 1999

Beauty Queen Learns about World of the Less Fortunate
By Wong Bik Ying

IPOH: A last minute decision to take part in the Miss Charity Queen contest here has opened the eyes of a young girl to the world of the underprivileged.

Fion Cao Pei Yin, 18, who beat nine other finalists to bag the title is now even more willing to do her best for charity. She said she took part in the contest as she thought it was a meaningful thing to do.

"And after spending a few days in Ipoh and seeing what Yayasan Sultan Idris Shah is doing for the disabled had changed me."

"I am very impressed with the dedication of the staff and the people behind the foundation who work so hard to raise money to help the needy," she said.

The contest was organized by Yayasan Sultan Idris Shah for the disabled as part of its fundraising event. It was coordinated by consultant/ choreographer Florence Leong from Flo-Ann Image.

Fion, a Chinese national taking up business degree course at Perkim Goon College in Penang, won RM 3, 000, a RM 4, 500 diamond ruby ring and cosmetic products worth RM 1,500.

She still has three years of study before she graduates.

The first runner-up was sales executive Raye Voon Ah Lee, 24 who won RM 1, 000, a RM 1,800 diamond ring and RM 1, 200 worth of cosmetic products while second runner-up clerk Sera Yeoh Bee Ping, 22, won RM 750, a RM 1, 200 ruby ring and RM 520 cosmetic products.

The Foundation's annual charity dinner, attended by Foundation Chairman Tan Sri V. Jeyaratnam, High Commissioner for India P.S. Sahai and High Commissioner of Canada Andre Simard, raised RM 450, 000.

Also present were Jon Jashni, the executive producer of 20th Century Fox's movie Anna and the King, which is being filmed here, and his wife Jolie, who was dressed in a sari.

At an auction, RM 85, 000 was raised after Terry Lee, president of the Association of Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners, made a bid of RM 50, 000 for a crystal bird, RM 20, 000 for a vintage Louis XIII bottle of brandy and RM 10, 000 for a gown.

Indian tycoon Z.S. Poonawalla, who owns India's largest stud farm - Poonawalla Stud Farms - bought the brandy from Lee for RM 25, 000.