Following an announcement by the Miss Asia Pacific World Committee last week that its 2014 winner, May Myat Noe, had been stripped of the title, reports have circulated in international media that the Burmese beauty queen has absconded with the tiara, said to worth up to US$100,000.
Associated Press (AP) cited David Kim, director of media for the Seoul-based pageant, saying that the 18-year-old was a “disappointment from the start”, and that she had been “rude and dishonest” with pageant officials.
An announcement from Miss Asia Pacific World Committee last week said that May Myat Noe had been “dethroned” and ordered to give back the crown and any accompanying benefits.
However, although the committee arranged a return flight to Rangoon for May Myat Noe, the deposed beauty allegedly did not show up at the airport and has since vanished with the tiara.
Another “benefit” that the Burmese allegedly ran off with was the gift of silicon breasts that the organisers had paid to have implanted.
According to AP, the organisers said they were arranging singing and video deals for her. Kim reportedly said they wanted to change the teenager’s looks as well.
“We thought she should be more beautiful … so as soon as she arrived we sent her to the hospital to operate on her breasts,” he said.
“It’s our responsibility,” he said, adding that sponsors picked up the tab, which came to the equivalent of [$10,000], as they have for past winners. “If she has no good nose, then maybe, if she likes, we can operate on her nose. If it’s breasts, then breasts.”
May Myat Noe has reportedly denied any wrong-doing. Although she has not addressed the matter publicly, she has said via social media that she will explain everything soon and urged the public not to judge her before hearing her side of the story.
Hundreds of Burmese have already taken to Facebook and Twitter to voice support for May Myat Noe, condemning the organisers – and Kim in particular – for insensitivity.
One social media user called Kim’s comments “ridiculous”, and suggested that he was the one who needs part of his body modified.
In the meantime, the pageant committee has said it will appoint a new Miss Asia Pacific World.