Saturday, September 26, 2009

'I will not give up crown'

'I will not give up my crown - and my dreams,' she declared, as her past conviction for credit card fraud becomes public. -- PHOTO: ZB

A DEFIANT Miss Singapore World, Ris Low, who is in the spotlight again - for the wrong reason - is fighting back.

'I will not give up my crown - and my dreams,' she declared, as her past conviction for credit card fraud becomes public.

The 19-year-old controversial beauty pageant winner, who was panned in the media and by the public for her poor command of English, made headlines again when mypaper reported on Friday that she was sentenced to 24 months of probation for credit card fraud in May, stoking a new wave of criticisms from Netizens.

Responding to the latest news reports, Miss Low confirmed her conviction on five charges of misappropriation, cheating, using illegally obtained credit cards, and impersonating their users' identities, in interviews with two Chinese evening dailies - Shin Min Daily News and Lianhe Wanbao on Friday.

She also revealed that pageant organisers ERM Marketing did not know about her offences at the start, but she came clean prior to signing a contract.

'They said then that as long as the news did not get out, they would give me the opportunity to continue with the competition. Who would've thought this would leak out. Now that the whole thing is all blown up, I'm not so sure,' said Ms Low.

Asked if she would give up the crown and withdraw from the international beauty quest, Miss Low said: 'Of course, I am not willing to. I do not want to give up on my dreams. But if the organisers want me to, I will comply. After all, it would be the only fair thing to do.'

It is still unclear if Ms Low, crowned Miss Singapore World on July 31, will be able to leave Singapore to take part in the Miss World pageant to be held in Johannesburg in December, for which she will need court permission.

Asked by Lianhe Wanbao if she feels that she has let Singaporeans down, the student from Management Development Institute of Singapore said: 'No, but I am disappointed with myself. If I could turn the time back, I definitely would not want to make the same mistake.'

Despite the setbacks and embarrassment, she said she has no regrets taking part in the competition.

'How many people out there, fully aware of their shortcomings, still dare to stand out to pursue their dreams - and will not back down despite so much pressure? If there are any regrets, I would blame myself for doing those things in the past,' she asserted.

'Who does not have a past? Who has never done wrong? In actual fact, being put under probation does not make it a criminal record. It is made serious because my offence is a legal one.

'This incident has made me appreciate the love and support from my family members.'

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