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Published: Tuesday September 29, 2009 MYT 8:41:00 PM

Miss Singapore World gives up crown

SINGAPORE: Ris Low has resigned as Miss Singapore World 2009, days after her past conviction for credit card fraud was exposed.

The organiser of the local beauty pageant, ERM World Marketing, said in a statement on Tuesday she will no longer represent Singapore at Miss World 2009 in South Africa.

ERM said it will be interviewing a new representative to represent Singapore at Miss World 2009 in the coming days and will announce her shortly.

The organiser said it has met Low and her parents and “they have agreed to allow their daughter to resign from the crown as we feel is in the best interest for the Miss Singapore World Pageant and Singapore at large.”

“We are accepting her resignation,” said ERM.

On Low’s conviction in May and her bipolar disorder, ERM said there was no way of checking if a contestant has a criminal record or suffering from depression.

“Ris Low was determined, well behaved and performed well throughout the two-month competition and even went on to win eight special awards. This is not easy task to accomplish from a group of 22 contestants. With her good performance and beauty, she excelled in the competition.”

On her command of English language, which has been criticised by the public, the organiser said: “We felt that person who made fun of her on YouTube was malicious and did not do her justice. The video clip was presented in a way to ridicule her.

“The incident was a one-time interview which misled the Singapore public to believe she spoke English poorly.

“During the Grand Finals competition held at the Shangri La hotel on the July 31, she spoke perfectly good English, had a good answer (short, sharp and sweet) and performed very well to impress the 11 judges that she was good enough to win.

“So perhaps her spoken English could also be an effect of her bipolar disorder.”

ERM said it felt sorry for Low but added: “We cannot compromise on our contest rules, regulations and the image of the Miss Singapore World Pageant.”

ERM, which broke its silence only on Monday said it did not give any comments earlier to the media and press because “we were taken aback by this incident and we did not have any documentary evidence to justify the allegations and could be faced with legal implications later.”

“Ris Low committed this as a young offender, and we had to be sensitive to handle any comments delicately where a young offender is concerned. The treatment would be different if she was over 21 years of age,” it added.

“We would like to add that this is the first time in Singapore beauty pageant history that such an incident has occurred. We had to be careful with the approach.” -- ANN/ The Straits Times

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