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Bali07eTHE JAKARTA POST — Increasing 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 on Saturday 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.

In 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).

The 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.

The 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.

West Java is a Muslim majority province, which is reported to have the highest number of cases of violence against minority religious groups.

The 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.

“This 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, he said.  (koi)

Categories: News

9 Responses so far.

  1. XYZ says:

    “This is an unexpected decision” – really? Has he been living under a rock for the past few months?

  2. puppet queen says:

    hypocrites muslim?,,,immoral events yet they have annual miss indonesia and talking about bikinis,,,all muslim belly dancer shows thier bodie and clevage,,,Ishaallah Allah will forgave indonesia,

  3. Tino says:

    It’s weird. MNC already announce that Indonesia will host the event almost a year. And during that moment they got postive reaction from some Islamic Leader Community. So all people in Indonesia already know that Indonesia will be the host. The goverment, parlement, ministry, and Indonesia Police also support that event. But suddenly only a few day after everything already setup there is a protest.

    I smell something stinky in this case. This people using religion name in order make people confuse. They tell other people a wrong information about Miss World. People that more believe at religion choose to believe them although the information about Miss World is wrong. They tell everyone that in Miss World there will be naked competition, and the competition will low degrade people moral value. They said Miss World is capitalism and no good activity about it.

    Its also happend at Lady Gaga concert. They protest againts the event on very thight schedule. They make open statement that they will make a chaos at Lady Gaga concert and killing people. But goverment do nothing about their statement. I heard there is a competition for being promotor at Lady Gaga concert. Its looks like someone using this group for their advantage.

    Using relegion is very affective for them to make people support them and pressure the goverment. I think the ambasador of contestant country must pressure goverment too for the girls safety.

    I think they not really fight for their religion, they using religion to got support from people. They doing purposely protest at tight schedule to make pressure at the promotor. i think money is behind all the things. they didn’t get money as they wont. they show up their power to any promotor that didnt give them enough money.

  4. Abel says:

    Bring MW to Mexico next year!

    Miss World México 2014!!!

  5. john from england says:

    I’m surprised anyone’s surprised. The lesson should have been learned from the debacle in Nigeria in 2002 when over 200 people lost their lives. I love Miss World & have been watching it since the early 60s but it isn’t worth one person losing their lives over.

  6. ichiro daisuke says:

    I hope that the Indonesian government assures the safety to the girls and no one gets hurt. May the event be held peacefully and successfully despite this.

  7. David says:

    “Nice work” Indonesia!

  8. Pete says:

    didnt they see this coming?? Why didnt they chose BALI in the first place since its a well known tourist resort, with beaches, bikinis & you name it. MWOrg mustve anticipated these protests. DID they forget Nigeria a back in 2002? When the pageant had to be swiftly moved back to london & contestants had to be evacuated at the last minute?

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