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Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Last Saturday, Plaza Shah Alam’s annual beauty pageant, Pencarian Wanita Melayu (PWM) reaches its exciting finals. On this 8th May at Plaza Shah Alam. Spectacular and colourful costume parades by contestants traditional wear of each state by Jabatan Kesenian Kebudayaan Malaysia, Batik from Istana Batik Plaza Shah Alam and the breathtaking attire designed by Bahari Asyek Plaza Shah Alam.

Held on Mother’s Day, the finals of this pageant are held in conjunction with various activities organised in the month of May where it is all about celebrating women who care and nurture us amid the occasions of Teacher’s Day and Nurse’s Day as well. This significant event which is in its third successive year, is a competition amongst Malay women who are out to prove that they are the ultimate Malay woman living and succeeding as a professional in the modern era while still holding on to her traditions and cultural roots.

The contestants of Pencarian Wanita Melayu come from different states in Malaysia and from various professions and interesting backgrounds, some are doctors, medical students, aeronautical engineering students and even a mother of 4 children.

above some photos of some the contestants. 

“This year, we received an overwhelming response with contestants from different varies of life and states participating in our quest to find the ultimate Malay women,” said Puan Azura Mokhtar, Senior Centre Manager of Plaza Shah Alam.

“The finale today will comprise our Top Ten (10) Finalists showcasing beautiful traditional wears by our sponsors as well as representing the uniqueness of the different states in Malaysia with the evening ending with us crowning our Top Three (3) winners as well as Miss Photogenic and Miss Personality,” she added.

The finalists showcasing the stylish watches from Ice Watch, one of the sponsors of Pencarian Wanita Melayu 2016.

The judges at the pageant include celebrity judges Vanida Imran & Dynas Mokhtar. The exciting finale will feature a spectacular costume parade by the contestants which includes Batik and traditional wear of each State by Jabatan Kebudayaaan Kesenian Malaysia and Traditional Wear by Bahari Asyek. In conjunction with Mother’s Day, mothers of the contestants will be giving away prizes to the top 3 winners of Pencarian Wanita Melayu 2016, including two other titles of Miss Photogenic and Miss Personality.

photo credit to Ayu

This competition has managed to attract reputable sponsors such as Habib Jewel, Ice Watch, Concorde Hotel, BTL Aesthetics Malaysia and many more. Other partners included Bahari Asyek, Istana Batik, Asyira Kaseh, Butik Eastern Creation and d’Qapas Boutique who sponsored all the outfits worn by finalists today as well as the outfits styled for the judges.

From Left: The Winners of Pencarian Wanita Melayu 2016, Cik Nur Suliani (Miss Photogenic), Cik Nur Eisha (1st Runner Up), Cik Norhazwani (Champion), Cik Noor Shalina (2nd Runner Up) & Cik Syarifah Nadia (Miss Personality).

Finalist also will be styling HABIB Aura collection, which is a special collection for women in hijab in Malaysia. AURA collection is styled complete with trailing chains, bracelets, rings and brooches. "

Distinguished guests included Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Sri Meer Sadik Habib, Managing Director of Habib Jewels Group, a major sponsor of Pencarian Wanita Melayu (PWM).
From Left: Winner of Pencarian Wanita Melayu 2015, Cik. Nurul Ayu Alwani with Winner of Pencarian Wanita Melayu 2016, Cik Norhazwani along with Dato Sri Meer Sadik Habib, Managing Director of Habib Jewels.
From Bottom Left, Pn. Yanti Ahmad, Founder of Yann Rifft, Juries of Pencarian Wanita Melayu 2016, Pn Vanida Imran, Pn. Azura, Senior Centre Manager, Plaza Shah Alam, Pn. Dinas Mokhtar & Cik Marini along with the winners of Pencarian Wanita 2016 and the winners of Pencarian Wanita Melayu 2014 & 2015.

Once again, congratulations to the winners of Pencarian Wanita Melayu 2015. 

Pencarian Wanita Melayu has been successfully organised by Plaza Shah Alam for the past two consecutive years. The idea of the competition was thought up by the Board of Directors as a way to promote the image of a traditional Malay woman holding on to her roots while facing the modern world and still succeeding in what she does.

Plaza Shah Alam is working closely with YannRifft Resources to help manage the event. The close work relationship is the reason Pencarian Wanita Melayu is the biggest Malay pageant in Malaysia and has been successful for the past two years.

Owned by Evergreen Venues Sdn Bhd, a privately owned property investment company, Plaza Shah Alam is connected to an office tower called Plaza Masalam. The nearby Concorde Hotel Shah Alam, major banks and a thriving commercial square are located adjacent to this mall.
With 1,000 bays parking facility and security facilities, the mall is accessible 24 hours daily. This neighbourhood mall has four floors with dining outlets and eateries of all sorts with delicacies ranging from Western to Asian food.

Apart from speciality shops of sorts, there are many apparel shops that offer stylish attire such as Baju Kurungs and Baju Melayu that can even be customised and tailored for patrons.
Plaza Shah Alam is your friendly destination mall of conveniences where visitors and residents in the Shah Alam vicinity can come and get their necessities with ease and in comfort.

Stand Strong Against Anaemia and Win Your Day‏

Anaemia is one of the most prevalent nutritional deficiency disorders in the world. Globally, the World Health Organization estimated that over 30% of the world’s population (totaling more than 2 billion individuals) suffers from anaemia, with the disease being most prevalent in women and young children. In Malaysia, of the 5,184 adults tested by Merck Consumer Health Division, approximately 39% of Malaysian adults are living with anaemia – 42% of 3,676 adult females and 31% of 1,508 adult males.

Anaemia happens when the level of red blood cells or the level of haemoglobin is lower than normal, hence a reduced amount of oxygen is being carried around in the bloodstream. Iron deficiency anaemia is the most common type of anaemia caused by insufficient iron in the body to produce haemoglobin.
Officiating the launch of the Stand Strong Against Anaemia and Win Your Day campaign, (from left) Mr. Richard Lee, General Manager of Merck Consumer Health Division, Malaysia; Dr. Zulfitri ‘Azuan Mat Daud, invited speaker from the Malaysian Dieticians Association (MDA); and Dr. Dhara Shah, Associate Director of Medical Affairs, Merck Consumer Health Division.

“Iron deficiency anaemia is a condition that many are unaware they are suffering from,” said Dr. Zulfitri ‘Azuan Mat Daud, Assistant Honorary Secretary & Council Member of the Malaysian Dieticians Association. “Many of its symptoms are ignored, not because people deny having anaemia, but because people generally do not know about it, or for that matter, know too little about it! We are so used to leading hectic lives and feeling tired that we often take these signs lightly. Not many think to have themselves checked by medical professionals, and the condition can often persist for years,” he explained.

While relatively non-life threatening, anaemia can lead to various complications if left unchecked. Major health consequences include poor pregnancy outcomes, impaired physical and cognitive development and increased risk of morbidity in children, and reduced work productivity in adults. It should be noted as well that iron deficiency anaemia contributes to 20% of all maternal deaths worldwide [1], and is a major concern for developing countries.

The symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia can be mild and risks are relatively unknown due to the lack of awareness and understanding. Due to inadequate oxygen levels in the body, iron deficiency anaemia patients may experience various symptoms such as – dizzy, lethargic or weak; frequent headaches; having a tingling or crawling feeling in the legs; strange cravings to eat non-food items such as dirt, ice or clay; cold hands and feet; tongue swelling or soreness; brittle nails and pale skin[2]. If left untreated, iron deficiency anaemia can lead to irregular heartbeat, and in severe cases, lead to heart failure or an enlarged heart [3].

Pregnancy, significant menstrual bleeding and uterine fibroids are all reasons that contribute to more women experiencing iron deficiency anaemia than men. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), an estimate of 20% of women of childbearing age have iron deficiency anaemia [2]. This is backed by a study carried out in Peninsular Malaysia, reporting that 25% among all women aged 18 to 60 years old are affected by the sickness [4]. Pregnant women are even more likely to experience iron deficiency anaemia because they require greater amounts of blood to support their growing babies.

With such alarming figures, Merck Consumer Health Division is stepping up its efforts and leading the change in raising awareness on iron deficiency anaemia through their “Win Your Day” campaign. The campaign is set to educate Malaysians and improve lives, particularly women as they are more susceptible to be affected by iron deficiency anaemia.

As a leader in healthcare and well-being, Merck is committed to improving and enriching the health and lives of Malaysians. Dr. Dhara Shah, Associate Director of Medical Affairs, Merck Consumer Health Division, hopes that through their efforts, the lives of those affected by iron deficiency anaemia, particularly women, can be improved as they seek treatment and means to free themselves of the ailment.

“Through raising awareness on the issue, we believe that Malaysians will benefit from a better understanding of iron deficiency, and to take the necessary steps to begin living extraordinary lives. It is our intention to guide them in taking the initiative to seek opinions from healthcare professionals. When iron deficiency anaemia is not treated, it may become severe enough to affect our daily life. Hence, we want to help Malaysian women win their days and to experience more fulfilling lives in the long run,” she said.
A pale conjunctiva is a clinical feature of anaemia, which can be self-detected by Merck’s Conjunctival Paleness Chart.

Working closely with medical experts, the Merck Medical team in Indonesia developed an Anaemia Risk Assessment Tool. The interactive tool helps to determine whether if one is at risk of having anaemia based on simple lifestyle and dietary information provided. Available online and free to use, it leads users through a questionnaire and a visual self-assessment tool called the Conjunctival Paleness Chart. The Chart will help users to identify symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia as a person's eyes tend to be more pale than normal due to insufficient of red blood cells and haemoglobin. This can be further confirmed through a haemoglobin test administered by a professional at a clinic or hospital.

The benefits to finding treatments are substantial as well, as timely management can restore personal health and raise productivity levels by as much as 20% [1].
Advising based on his expertise, Dr. Zulfitri highlighted that dietary and nutritional management is vital in treating this deficiency. To improve one’s level of iron in the body, one should increase absorbable iron in her diet through the consumption of meat, fish or poultry during main meals. “One way to increase your body’s absorption of iron is to include Vitamin C at every meal. Also, decreasing the consumption of tea, coffee and milk during main ls helps too, as they act as inhibitors of iron absorption in food.” he explained.

Dr. Zulfitri further highlighted that oral iron supplements helps the body in overcoming this deficiency. He emphasized that the supplements are best absorbed by the body on an empty stomach. However, if there is any irritation or uneasiness, it should then be taken with meals.

As in the case of Nor Amni Bt Haris, 31, and Siti Noorshella Zainal, 37, their daily duties and chores struggled prior to discovery of their ailment. Nor Amni, a career lady who often skipped meals, only found out of her ailment after being sent to the doctor by colleagues after a dizzy spell at work. A change in dietary habits, along with taking iron supplements advise by her doctor, she is now able to manage her iron levels. She highlighted that working professionals, young adults or even school students should be aware of iron deficiency anaemia as it affects their productivity at work or school.
Siti Noorshella, a mother of 3, discovered her ailment during one of her pregnancies. In nursing and caring for her children, she found out more about the deficiency could potentially impact them as well. Improving on her dietary habits and taking iron supplements has helped her personal life, as well as her children. Beyond adults, she advises parents to also check on their children of this ailment as it is prevalent in pre-schoolers.

Should the Anaemia Risk Assessment Tool and Conjunctival Paleness Chart point towards an afflication with iron deficiency anaemia, one should consult a doctor for further advise and undergo a blood test. Merck will be providing complimentary haemoglobin test at selected pharmacies nationwide to help identify people suffering from anaemia.

For more information on the complimentary haemoglobin tests, and to do an initial self-check using the interactive Anaemia Risk Assessment Tool and Conjunctival Paleness Chart, visit

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