updated 4 Mar 2012, 18:59
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Sun, Mar 04, 2012
The New Paper
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Crown and controversy
by Germaine Lim

JUST when you thought Miss Singapore World’s woes were over, another controversy is brewing.

This time, it involves local jewellery designer Tan Yang Lay, who claims pageant organiser ERM World Marketing breached its contract with her.

Ms Tan, who is in her early 40s, told The New Paper last night: “The contract, which was inked last year, states that the crown I made will be worn by succeeding Miss Singapore World winners for the next five years, from 2008 to 2012. This has not been the case.”

Only last year’s winner Faraliza Tan has worn Ms Tan’s creation. Dethroned 2009 winner Ris Low and current title holder Pilar Carmelita Arlando have not, she said.

Ms Tan’s red and white crown was handmade and embellished with nearly 4,000 Swarovski crystals and cubic zirconia stones totalling more than 30 carats.

“Why put a cheap plastic crown on our representative? This is not Miss Bedok we’re talking about, she’s a national champion,” she said.

The New Paper has verified that the conditions are stated in the contract.

Organiser silent

The pageant finals took place in July.

In September, Ris stepped down after a conviction for credit card fraud came to light.

Ms Tan, who owns local jewellery company Beneath The Stars, and her lawyers, said they have called on ERM World Marketing about the matter.

But ERM World Marketing event director Tracy Lee said she has not been contacted by Ms Tan. She declined further comment.

Ms Tan, who also designed Miss Singapore Universe’s crown last year, said she had agreed to work with Miss Singapore World because she felt she could “do something for Singapore as a jewellery designer”.

“I wanted to contribute and make Singapore proud,” she said.

Not only did she create the crown, Ms Tan said she had also sponsored last year’s pageant, which meant partially financing the event.

In all, Ms Tan said she spent more than $10,000 on the crown and the event last year.

She had taken more than 360 hours to complete the handmade crown.

This year Ms Tan decided not to sponsor the beauty pageant.

Nevertheless, in an e-mail correspondence between April and July, Ms Lee assured Ms Tan that she would honour the contract, meaning, this year’s winner would wear her crown.

The New Paper has also verified this e-mail exchange.

Ms Tan added: “Besides, the contract states that the winners from 2008 to 2012 will wear my crown, regardless of my sponsoring the event.”

But three days before the finals of Miss Singapore World in July, Ms Tan received an e-mail from Ms Lee’s lawyer.

Yes, this year’s winner could wear her crown, she was told, but only if she bought tickets to the finals’ gala dinner.

Each ticket would cost her either $500 or $1,000.

Ms Tan declined.

Ris was subsequently spotted with a different tiara when she was crowned.

Ms Tan claimed she then called Ms Lee, who told her that a third party, not ERM, was the organiser and was not obligated to the standing contract.

However, Ms Lee did not name this “third party”, Ms Tan said.

Then Ris stepped down. Pilar, who has succeeded her, is still not wearing Ms Tan’s creation.

Ms Tan’s lawyers, Mr Michael Loh and Mr Nicholas Awof Clifford Law, told The New Paper they have sent a letter to ERM, requesting a statement which affirms that Ms Tan’s company Beneath The Stars is entitled to its rights as stated in the contract.

Ms Tan added: “I feel I’ve been unfairly treated and kept in the dark as to how the pageant is organised and run. I can’t reuse the crown since it’s already been featured last year.

“More importantly, my reputation has been hurt. I told all my business associates when the deal was made. Now they’re asking me why my design has not been used.”

[email protected]

This article was first published in The New Paper.

readers' comments
goldfoxsg I fully agreed with what you said, really I think it would do more harm then good for you. Where is the class, it is just a complete joke. Looks more for fancy dress item...
Posted by vanillaijs on Thu, 5 Nov 2009 at 06:20 AM
I am glad the organizers of Miss Singapore did not use the horrendouse looking red crown.

Its looks like a party hat from Alice in the Wonderland.

Perhaps Miss Tan was jelous that the one used was better looking then hers. Please her red crown had nothing to bark about. Only crystals!

When you use real diamonds and gold to make a crown then you can make a some worthy noise.

I think Miss Tan is out for some cheap publicity and she is a total JOKE!

Please design better looking crown next time.
Miss Tan is just another publicity ***** like Ris Low
Posted by goldfoxsg on Thu, 5 Nov 2009 at 05:16 AM
Are you jealous of Ris Low? Why keep harping on her faults as if enough have not already been said. Afterall we are no angels ourselves...The crown business has nothing to do with whether she deserve to wear the the crown or not. Are you related to in some ways to the organisers? Are you trying desperately to take attention away from any the potential "back door" dealings that amy surafce up? To say the least, the actions of the organisers seems really questionable and we still cannot confirm that the organisers did not give Ris the crown because she racked in the most money for them...
Posted by kooldog59 on Thu, 5 Nov 2009 at 04:55 AM
It's very appropriate to use a plastic crown on this year's winners anyway...its seems none of them especially Ris Low has what it takes to be in a pageant hence its only befitting that they wear a plastic crown...why waste a nice jewel crown on a bunch of Clowns?
Posted by slimshady on Thu, 5 Nov 2009 at 03:17 AM

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