The winner, then not: Newly-crowned Miss Malaysia Model of the World 2009 Wong waving to the crowd after she was announced as the winner in Ipoh on Sunday night. However, she later decided to give up her title.
A fickle beauty queen who gave up her title for “health reasons” found out the hard way that there’s no going back. When she changed her mind and decided to keep the crown, the event organiser told her that she had lost it for good.
Fashion designer Melissa Wong had beaten 25 other girls to be crowned Miss Malaysia Model of the World 2009 on Sunday night.
Then, the 22-year-old shocked everyone by deciding to give up her title and the chance to represent Malaysia in the 21st Miss Model of the World in China from Nov 2 to 23.
Wong requested to swap titles with first runner-up Madelyne Nandu from Sabah. The organisers agreed.
During a press conference to announce the swap at 10am yesterday, Wong again caused a stir by saying she had changed her mind once more, and wished to remain the winner and go to China.
She believed she was strong enough to make the trip.
The shocked organisers had to stop the press conference to consult with her.
Later, when the press conference resumed, Wong said she had undergone spinal surgery several years ago and had initially thought she would not be able to withstand the cold weather in China.
“I thought that I had been well but then my spine has started to hurt again in recent days,” she said when grilled by reporters on why she had not thought of it before joining the contest.
Despite her assurances, the organisers put their foot down and declared Nandu the winner and Wong as the first runner-up.
Choong May Teng, director of contest producer Star Avenue Production, said everyone had stayed up till 4am to settle the matter.
“She must be fair to everyone,” said Choong.
Choong said Wong had not been totally honest with officials from the start, and that they could have stripped her of the title instead of letting her be the first runner-up.
Model Eleen Yong, 22, from Malacca was second runner-up in the contest, which was presented by Marigold HL Milk.