'Quest' winner Gan heads to Taiwan for international contest

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PENANG: A hot favourite from the beginning, 20-year-old college student Geraldine Gan Hwee Peng did not disappoint as she emerged champion at the 15th Astro Star Quest 2011 final on Saturday night at the Penang International Sports Arena.

Accumulating 184 points, Gan, from Muar, Johor, beat four other finalists.

"Even after they announced the results, I could not believe it. Right now, I'm excited about getting a brand new car as I have been driving a secondhand one all this while," said Gan who received a Toyota Vios TRD Sportivo worth RM92,000 and other prizes.

"This win has given me confidence to represent Malaysia at the One Million Stars contest in Taiwan."

Launched in 1997, Astro Star Quest has become the largest Chinese singing competition in the country. It was telecast 'live' over Astro's Wah Lai Toi channel.

Tha Kien Ying, 21, from Kuala Lumpur, who emerged first runner-up and who also received the "My Favourite Star" award, said: "I did my best and overall I am happy with the result."

The five finalists had to render songs revolving around the seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Over the years, Astro Star Quest, which is open to Malaysians aged 18 to 25, has produced winners who have become popular recording artistes, notably, Sarawak-born Nicholas Teo, the 2002 winner.

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