Nusa Dua, Bali. Marsya Gusman, 23, is a woman of many talents. Having been crowned as Miss Earth Best Talent in 2016, Marsya, who has a business degree from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, has now won another prestigious title: Miss Internet Indonesia 2017.
The unique pageant contest is the brainchild of the Indonesian Internet Service Providers Association, or Apjii, an umbrella organization for major ISP companies in the country.
Marsya was given her new title on Sunday (30/05) after beating 16 other finalists. She came to Bali representing Jakarta, where she beat 59 other contestants.
Marsya, who is also the anti-drug ambassador for Indonesia's National Anti-Narcotics Agency (BNN), will now spend the next year promoting various government-backed internet campaigns to encourage safe internet use, fight hoax news and teach computer and internet literacy to the public.
"I didn't expect to win. For me, to be able to get into the Grand Final in Bali was already a great achievement. The other finalists were very smart, very beautiful," Marsya said on Sunday at the Inaya Putri hotel in Nusa Dua, Bali.
As a part-time businesswoman, Marya is media-savvy and fits right in with the pageant's theme of "Internet for Everyone."
She owns a consulting company called MetDaily & MG Consulting and metropolitan-daily.com, a website that provides motivational videos and articles for millennials entering the workforce for the first time.
The director general of information technology application at the Ministry of Communications and Informatics, Semuel "Samy" Pangerapan said Marsya will have her work cut out to educate the public about the benefits of healthy internet.
"We're moving fast into the digital world. The government, businesses and the public are all involved in this transformation. Marsya will have a crucial role," Samy, who was Apjii's chairman in 2012-2015, said.
Apjii counts as its members 390 major internet service providers in the country. It scouted contestants for the pageant contest from 12 provinces, turning its old Miss Internet Bali into a national event.
Miss Internet Indonesia 2017 was officially sponsored by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics, the National Police's cyber crime unit, the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and the Ministry of Industry.
Apjii chairman Jamalul Izza said he wants to take the Miss Internet Indonesia concept to the international stage. It has already received commendation from the World Summit on the Information Society, a United Nations-sponsored summit on information and communication technology.
"Miss Internet Indonesia can earn recognition from a global scale summit because there hasn't been anything like it," Jamalul, Apjii's 2015-2018 chairman, said.
I Gede Yudhatama, Miss Internet Indonesia 2017 executive manager, said Marsya will appear in seminars, workshops and public speaking tours, and write articles promoting safe and healthy internet use.