Bachelor of Malaysia 2021 grand winner Hariz Othman has always desired to change himself. Hariz was once a timid guy, but today he is able to stand confidently thanks to the pageant competition. He will represent Malaysia in the upcoming Mister Tourism World 2021, slated to be held in the Dominican Republic.
A burning desire to change
When the Sarawakian winner of Bachelor of Malaysia (BOM) 2021, Hariz Othman, was in secondary school, he recalled being teased about his appearance. “People would often call me a ‘drug addict’ because of my skinny appearance. I was often called names and received demeaning comments from my schoolmates. All that made me feel disheartened,” said the fitness instructor.
Nonetheless, Miri-born Hariz did not feel discouraged. Instead, he was inspired to work on his appearance and physique. “I started visiting the gym, having a strict fitness regime and watching my diet,” said the 25-year-old.
Now based in Selangor, Hariz will be representing Malaysia in the Dominican Republic for the Mister Tourism 2021 pageant. To get ready for the competition where he will meet contestants from 25 other countries, Hariz revamped his fitness routine accordingly.
“I now work out daily to maintain my physique. My diet consists of mostly meat and fewer carbohydrates but I still eat five to six times a day.
Ever since secondary school, Hariz has always desired to make a change for himself. He joined BOM after realising it could transform him,
“I believe that pageantry can change my future. I also want to be a better version of myself, and through BOM, I think I can change.”
Sharing further, Hariz said prior to BOM, he was an introverted person who could not communicate well.
“I would envy those with good physiques, attractive appearances and high confidence levels. I admit that I changed a lot when I joined BOM. I grew used to the different crowds that came with the pageant competition. Today, I talk so much that people become shy around me instead!
“I also improved my catwalking skills and my physical appearance down to my teeth. Because of BOM, I really pushed myself to be a better person,” he added.
The exposure for BOM’s contestants is high, as it is in any pageant competition. And with the fan base and influence Hariz brought on himself, he aims to use it wisely.
Positive posts on social media
Always reminding others to be the best version of themselves, Hariz often uses his social media to post positive things and show people that as long as they are happy, nothing else matters.
Standing tall at 178 centimetres, Hariz’s mission on social media is also to influence others to support local business owners.
“During the pandemic, I saw how many small businesses struggled. I hope to be able to influence others to help the local businesses during these trying times.”
As the title denotes, Mister Tourism World is a platform for participants to share their respective cultures and traditions. Its advocacy focuses on ways to embrace and share each other’s heritage with the next generation.
Understanding this, Hariz hopes to be able to share his Sarawakian roots through this platform.
“Many of those living in Malaya are not familiar with local Sarawakcultures. So, I hope through my efforts, I can create awareness.”
Sharing his advocacy with the New Sarawak Tribune, Hariz said his focus this time was on public toilets.
“Although it may sound trivial, with clean and systematic public toilets, tourists are more glad than ever to visit a country or state to learn more about its culture,” he said.
“We can see in well-developed countries that public toilets become one of the gauges for outsiders to judge a place. If we have well-maintained public facilities I am sure they can boost the tourism sector and attract people to visit. Hence, through my advocacy, I hope to encourage others to keep our public toilets clean,” shared Hariz.
Asked what pageantry meant to him, Hariz said it was a platform to build connections. “It is a foundation for us to create positive influences post-pageantry. I hope to influence others to think positively of themselves and to focus on building themselves more.”
Meanwhile, Hariz’s assistant manager Apple Green Luna said, “It is very business orientated. The investment depends on the talents.”
She lamented that many talents post-pageantry would abandon the advocacy they once upheld.
“Once the contract ends with the pageant agency, their momentum ends too. Hence, under my wing, I hope to be able to guide talents to continue their efforts post-pageantry.”
To her, pageantry is more than just a contest of appearance.
“It is beyond beauty and more about responsibilities. I always remind the participants to share their advocacy on social media. After all, it is free and can reach a wider audience.”
Apple, who also guides Hariz for his next competition, said that a pageant project would be a success when its talents continued their advocacy post-pageantry. “It is to say, whatever they learned throughout has been fruitful.”