PETALING JAYA: With all eyes focused on the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, one other Malaysian is also currently representing the country, vying for the title of Man of The Year 2016.
Hailing from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Edison Chua is currently in Pekanbaru, Indonesia, competing against ten others for the inaugural title.
This is the first edition of the international male pageant with the contest having started on Aug 14 and set to end Aug 21.
Speaking to FMT in an interview, Edison, who is currently studying banking and finance at Taylor’s University in Kuala Lumpur, said he was not that much into modelling until he decided to join a pageant for the first time in December last year.
“The pageant was called Sabah Model of The Year. After I won the competition, I started to get interested in this industry,” Chua said.
On being selected to represent the country for the Man of the Year 2016 contest, Chua said he was notified by the national director two weeks before the pageant started.
“Luckily I am still in my semester break so I am able to join… and now here I am,” Chua told FMT from Pekanbaru.
He explained that the winner of the title would work with non-governmental organisations (NGO) related to tourism as well as the conservation of wildlife and the environment.
“Most of all, the reason why I joined this pageant was to become a role model to young people in the world,” he added.
Chua is competing for the title alongside India’s Abhishek Shah, Arirefai (Indonesia), Tarek Moaykel (Lebanon), Htoo Ant Lwin (Myanmar), Sandeep Pokhrel (Nepal), Tim Bertrams (the Netherlands), Karan Singhdole (the Philippines), Antonio Pino (Spain), Trịnh Xuân Nhản (Vietnam) and Jan Vurm (Czech Republic).
Also a fitness enthusiast, Chua named legendary martial artist and actor Bruce Lee as his inspiration when he first began working out.
Chua recalled a quote of Lee’s which he holds dear to this day: “Remember, success is just a journey, not a destination. Have faith in your ability, you’ll do just fine.”
The final event for the Man of the Year 2016 pageant will be held this Sunday.