updated 10 Sep 2013, 12:21
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Thu, Sep 06, 2012
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Carat Cheung wins Miss Hong Kong after online voting fiasco

This year's Miss Hong Kong pageant has been riddled with controversies, from the Kayley Chung racy photo scandal to the most recent hiccup during the pageant voting process.

Hong Kong broadcast giant TVB, also the pageant's organiser, had earlier decided to opt for a more "democratic" voting process by allowing the public to vote for the placing of the top three contestants after the judges' selection.

During the closing minutes of the pageant on Sunday however, the servers could not handle the influx of votes and crashed, forcing the organisers to eliminate the public voting element and leave the final decision-making back in the hands of the judges.

The panel of judges consists of some of Hong Kong's big names like Andy Lau and Carina Lau.

Carat Cheung, a 24-year-old university student was eventually crowned the winner of this years' title, amidst boos and jeers from the crowd. Jacqueline Wong, 23, and Tracy Chu, 24, came in second and third places respectively.

Tracy Chu was the crowd favourite during the pageant, causing many unhappy viewers to protest at her first runner-up placing after they were denied of their chance to vote. According to the Daily Chilli, many lodged their complaints at Hong Kong's Office Of Communications Authority.

Cheung - a distant relative of Hong Kong director-producer Alfred Cheung, as reported by media sources - however, was already leading the competition by taking both the Miss International Goodwill and Miss Aviation Ambassador titles.

Rumours spread online that the servers had been hacked.

Speaking to the Hong Kong media on Monday, TVB's General Manager for Broadcasting, Cheong Shin Keong said that they are investigating the server anomalies experienced during the voting duration, and pointed out that the company would make a police report if they find any evidence of hacking.

He also emphasised that the incident "is not a publicity stunt or a bid to cheat" the people of Hong Kong, unlike what vicious online rumours claim.

Cheung will still retain her title, despite all the controversy.

Media source outlets cited TVB Deputy Director of External Affairs, Tsang Sing Ming apologising for the technical glitch, and asserting that the results of the pageant are final and it would not be possible to restage the pageant as it is "not a drama".

He also said that TVB will continue to have similar voting activities in the future.

The Miss Hong Kong pageant holds an iconic status in the showbiz industry there as it is seen as a "star factory".

TV and film stars past and present, from Anita Yuen, Maggie Cheung, Michelle Reis and Sonija Kwok, were catapulted into fame after they took part in the pageant.

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