protest from hard-line groups over the 2013 Miss World beauty pageant –
which is slated to be held in Bali and Sentul in West Java from Sept. 8 to 28 – has seemingly forced the government to drop Sentul as one of the event hosts.
Coordinating People’s Welfare Minister Agung Laksono announced that now all of the pageant events, from the opening ceremony to the coronation night, would be held in Bali.
However, contestants, he continued, would be allowed to visit other provinces, but not as part of the program series.
“We take this decision after considering the pros and cons of the event for both the public and the organizer,” Agung said on Saturday.
the initial schedule, after the first week of events came to an end in
Bali, all 129 contestants from around the globe would then travel to
Jakarta, where they would compete in different events culminating with
the final on Sept. 28 in Sentul at the Sentul International Convention Center (SICC).
contest, however, has drawn protests from Islamic hard-line groups
across the country in the days leading up to the pageant. The groups
protested the decision to host Miss World in the country, calling it as
an "immoral event". The absence of a bikini round in the contest has
failed to appease the hard-liners.
Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), for instance, has conveyed its
disagreement with the event, saying that the pageant was not in line
with Islamic teachings. Radical groups the Islam Defenders Front (FPI)
and the Islamic People’s Forum (FUI) have also demanded the government
cancel the event.
Java is a Muslim majority province, which is reported to have the
highest number of cases of violence against minority religious groups.
sudden decision shocked the Miss World committee, as it came a few
hours after the committee had held a separate press conference in Nusa
Dua, Bali, where they expressed their optimism that the event would run
smoothly despite mounting protests from hard-liners.
is an unexpected decision. Can you imagine it? It’s only three weeks
before the finale then suddenly there is such a change,” Arief Suditomo,
head of media affairs for the 2013 Miss World, said. (koi)