Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Facing Backlash, Miss World Pageant Confined To Bali
JAKARTA (Nikkei)--The Indonesian government has instructed the organizer of the Miss World pageant to change the venue of the contest finals to Bali from near Jakarta in response to protest by conservative Muslim groups.
The organizer, PT Global Mediacom Tbk, had earlier announced changes to the program, canceling the bikini competition, for example, in hopes of quieting the backlash in Indonesia, which has the world largest Muslim population. Ultimately, however, the government ordered the pageant finals be moved to the island of Bali, where Muslims are in the minority.
Changing the location of the pageant so quickly will not be easy. Many international conferences are also taking place in Bali until early October, when the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting is scheduled to be held on the island. Most of the large hotels are fully booked, and it is unlikely an auditorium large enough for the Miss World event will be available.
The pageant kicked off Sept. 8 in Bali. The event had been scheduled to move to an upscale hotel in Jakarta on Sept. 15 and was going to be held there until Sept. 23, after which it was to move to a bigger venue in a suburb of Indonesia's capital for the finals from Sept. 24 through Sept. 28.
At a news conference Monday, PT Global Mediacom CEO Hary Tanoesoedibjo said he was disappointed by the government directive. He complained the move would cause the company, Indonesia's largest private broadcaster, to suffer massive losses.