The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta city administration is canceling its 2020 Abang None pageant, citing the need to divert funds for the capital’s COVID-19 response.
Jakarta Tourism and Creative Economy Agency head Cucu Ahmad Kurnia announced the cancellation on Thursday, saying that the pageant was one of a number of things that would be cut because of the pandemic.
“All of the Jakarta administration’s resources will be diverted into massive and measurable handling of the pandemic,” Cucu told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday. “Aside from budget concerns, we are still uncertain when the COVID-19 pandemic will be over.”.
Jakarta had started the selection process for Abang None couples in its administrative regions – Central Jakarta, East Jakarta, West Jakarta, South Jakarta, North Jakarta and the Thousand Islands – in February but will not be appointing any winners this year.
However, Cucu said the 180 finalists would still act as tourism ambassadors for their respective areas.
He estimated that the selection process in each administrative area cost about Rp 1 billion (US$70,622).
The annual pageant was started in 1968 by then-governor Ali Sadikin to select a female contestant to be named None Jakarta, with the male Abang selection beginning in 1971. The winners, usually between 18 and 25 years old, are responsible for promoting tourism in their respective areas.