Chatting up Nadia

By CARSIFU | 25 September 2011
Errr, excuse me? Are you Malaysian? You don’t look like one.


And that was just one of several typical comments that Nadia Heng received from other contestants in China during the Miss World 2010 pageant finals.


It had to do with some of the same contestants having participated in the Miss Universe 2010 pageant held earlier.


“The Malaysian Miss Universe contestant was an Indian and they thought all Malaysians looked like that,” the chatty Nadia laughs as she tells her tale to Star Rev.
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“I had to do some explaining to them about the ethnic diversity in Malaysia.


 “Funnier still was an Indonesian contestant who thought I was Malay,” she said.


Nadia’s Pan-Asian looks stems from her Anglo Chinese parentage.


Her father used to work in Port Dickson’s hotel industry before his retirement and her mother is an administrator at a nursing home in England.


Nadia graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 2006 and a diploma in public relations from the then Taylor’s College in 2004.


She has a twin sister Natalie who was born a minute older than her, and they live in Petaling Jaya with two housemates.


“My sister and I were enrolled in a Chinese school, and we were often stared at by schoolmates and teachers because of our looks. We have since gotten used to that,” she says.


Nadia made some headway in sports, becoming a state swimmer and district runner.


The opportunity for more exposure came when she was approached by a talent scout during her college days.


Since then, Nadia has appeared in more than 20 TV commercials and print advertisements, among them jobs for Spritzer and Gintel.


She has also hosted a 13-episode TV programme Health Blitz, which was aired on RTM2 in 2008.


Though Nadia is 1.69m - not tall enough by runway modelling standards - she says she was able to make it through by putting on high heels.


“I am used to high heels so such shows are not really difficult for me.”


Winning the Miss Malaysia World 2010 crown has opened many doors for Nadia and encouraged her to take on bigger challenges, among them acting.


“As a newbie, I won’t mind taking minor roles just to gain experience,” she says.


Fortunately, her current public relations job comes with flexible working hours, allowing her some leeway to pursue other interests.


“Most of my work can be done from home so I do not have to commute as frequently as regular office workers.

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She was sharing a Perodua Myvi with her sister at one time.


“If I needed the Myvi more than my sister, I would drop her off at the office.


“But if she needed the car more, I would probably end up taking the taxi,” she says.


The little tug-of-war over the Myvi’s keys was resolved with the arrival of a Proton Perdana.


“The Perdana is definitely more spacious but is heavier on the fuel. A full tank comes to RM100 while the Myvi’s is only RM60 and goes a lot further on that.”


And since fuel sippers were in her vocabulury, we got her one for a spin - the Lexus CT 200h Luxury.


Nadia’s first impressions of the car was that it was “fast, very smooth and upmarket.”


“Comparing the Lexus with my father’s old Toyota Corolla, Japanese cars have certainly progressed a lot over the years,” says Nadia.


Nadia loves it when the CT 200h whooshes along in full electric mode.


“The car just glides along very quietly without drama.”


The CT 200h, which uses a 1.8-litre petrol and an electric motor, can travel up to 100km on three litres of fuel.


The Luxury variant which costs just above RM200,000 has a lot of goodies - eight airbags, LED headlights and satellite navigation with reverse camera, to name a few.


There was little Nadia did not like about after the drive, except perhaps to wish it could travel much further on full battery mode.


“It will definitely save more fuel and reduce pollution.”


But that’s looking ahead to a full electric car, not just a hybrid, Nadia.