Esther wins big in singing contest
KOTA KINABALU: Esther Applunius Chin, who wowed judges with a seamless performance, emerged as the champion in the Star Search 999 Singing Competition.
The 29-year-old aspiring singer from Kota Kinabalu, who has previously won a number of singing contests, bagged a big RM39,999 cash prize and trophy.
One of the judges commented that Esther’s level of performance and singing was above that of other competitors.
She was the winner in Bintang Kecil 1998, One in a Million in 2009 and the Best Song award in Anugerah Juara Carta Lagu Artis Sabah 2011.
The second prize of RM19,999 went to Christine Chua Yea En, 20, from Miri, Sarawak, while the third prize of RM9,999 went to Lim Hong Yi, 24, from Selangor.
Meanwhile, the remaining seven finalists received RM999 each. They are Junz Tai Chun Leong, 22, (Kota Kinabalu), Annabelle Voo Pei Pei, 21, (Kota Kinabalu), Desmond Anak Jetim, 23, (Kuching), Edmund Chain Wee Tat, 28, (Kota Kinabalu), Chuah Ying Wei, 17, (Penang), Megan Hen Zhi Jun, 21, (Kota Kinabalu) and Shirley Tiong Hui King, 21, (Tawau).
The event was organized by SabahLabuan Motion Picture Traders and Entertainment Association (Slamptea) with the aim of uncovering and grooming young singing talents.
Towards the end of the grand final on Wednesday, one of the judges remarked that the event reflected the high standard of singing contest in East Malaysia.
Apart from the contestants, the organizer had also invited renowned Malaysian singer Zhuang Xue Zhong to perform.
The guest of honour, Datuk Susan Wong Siew Guen, said the Star Search 999 Singing Competition, which offered a total cash prize of RM76,999 sponsored by 999 Bar Sdn Bhd, was very creative and meaningful as it encouraged more local young aspiring singers to participate in the contest.
She said the participants also had the opportunity to perform at a grand stage in 999 Bar, which the proprietor Liew Pin Cheong spent over RM1 million to construct, during the preliminary and semi-final rounds.
Susan said the major singing contest organized by Slamptea would help boost the local tourism sector.
“We hope Slamptea president Peter Chow and his team will continue to organize more large-scale entertainment events to promote Sabah to the domestic and international tourists,” she said.
Meanwhile, Chow said the various sectors in Sabah must be well-prepared to face the changing times.
For instance, he said the tourism industry was a new economic sector for Sabah which would certainly contribute a considerable amount of revenue to the State in the future.
“As such, we hope that hotels, bar and lounges could give local singers a chance to showcase their talents.
“At the same time, I hope local singers do not just perform in a single language.
“In this multicultural country, local singers should be able to perform Mandarin, Malay and English songs, or even better, Korean and Japanese titles.”
With the concerted effort from hotels, lounges and singers, Chow believed that the singing and entertainment industry could be propelled to greater heights.
Also present were Consul of the People’s Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu, He Sujin, and Vice Consul Liu Wei, Huang Association of Malaysia president Datuk Wong Ten An, Slamptea life honorary advisor Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai, honorary advisor Datuk Chin Chee Kee, Li Su Fook and Kapitan Lim Vun Chan, legal advisor Kapitan Chin Tek Ming, Lintasan Resources Sdn Bhd executive chairman Datuk Paul Lim, contest producer Ricky Lee and organizing chairman Chester Pang.
The winners, Esther (seventh left), Christine (sixth left) and Hong Yi (eighth right) with Susan (seventh right), Liew (fifth left), Chow (fifth right),Yee (third right), Lim (second right),Ten An (far right), Pang (fourth left) and the judges.