updated 15 Apr 2012, 04:05
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Sun, Apr 15, 2012
The New Paper
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Miss Singapore Universe winner under fire: Pictures unbecoming of a beauty queen
by Gan Ling Kai

SUGGESTIVE pictures of Miss Singapore Universe Rachel Kum have surfaced on the Internet and sparked calls for her to be stripped of her title.

The photos posted on The Straits Times interactive website Stomp on Tuesday show her posing with a blown-up sex doll, a birthday cake with a phallic symbol and a friend dressed in a phallic-looking costume.

It seems the pictures were taken off a blog.

The Stomp article said: 'There was no timestamp on the photos or on the blog in which her photos were found, so it is unclear whether the photos were taken before or after she was crowned Miss Singapore Universe.'

The 24-year-old brand manager won the coveted title two months ago. She also won the Miss Body Beautiful and Miss Personality titles.

Some netizens feel the pictures are unbecoming of a beauty queen representing Singapore and that she should be stripped of her title.

But the pageant organiser has no intention of doing so.

Mr Daryl Pang, one of the directors of Derrol Stepenny, which organises the pageant, said: 'It's no big deal, they were just photos taken during some parties people threw for her.'

The New Paper couldn't contact Rachel, whom Mr Pang said is overseas on a modelling assignment, but he said he was aware of the pictures since a month ago.

Rachel had seen the pictures online and spoken to him about them, he said.

'Rachel was upset about the photos. Anyone will get mad. But she wasn't worried of being stripped of her title.'

He said the pictures were 'definitely not taken this year'.

Rachel told him the picture of the cake was taken at her birthday party while the other two were taken during Halloween, he said.

The two Halloween pictures showed Rachel in different clothes, and Mr Pang couldn't verify if they were shot on the same occasion.

A video posted in 2006 on YouTube, titled 'My surprise bday party in seattle, USA', features the same cake as in one of the photos.

Someone in the background was heard saying: 'Make a wish, and blow, Rachel.'

In the video, there was a second cake with the words, 'Happy 21st Birthday Rachel'.

Two-third of the 68 comments left on Stomp by last night were critical of Rachel, who was also a finalist in The New Paper New Face contest in 2007.

Stormzer wrote: 'So this is the standard of gals that singapore wanna send out to represent our country?? Wat a laughing stock!'

rich.girl wrote: 'she look like Miss AV (adult video actress) than Miss Singapore.'

Support from some

But some posted messages in support, including Fuzakeru, who wrote: 'If you wish to superimpose your moral values on others, you are a bigot and also would inevitably decrease the pool Singapore can choose from.'

Mr Pang said the pictures would not affect Rachel's chances of representing Singapore in the Miss Universe pageant in the Bahamas next month.

'No, everything will carry on as per planned. She didn't commit any crime,' he said.

'Of course, we wouldn't want a case of Edison Chen, but for Rachel, there wasn't any nudity, she didn't expose herself, and she didn't murder anyone. So why should she be penalised?'

Mr Pang was referring to the sex photos of Edison Chen and several Hong Kong female starlets which were circulated online early last year.

He added that his stand would not change even if more criticisms of Rachel surface online.

Mr Pang said the organiser does pay attention to public opinion, but in this case, he feels that Singaporeans should do their best to encourage their pageant representative.

'Why make her feel so down? If we sadden her, that will only reduce her confidence, and affect her chances of winning.'

Does Mr Pang think Rachel's title hopes will be affected?

No, he said, as the judges are not 'shallow-minded'.

He added: 'Moreover, these pictures are taken way before she was crowned.

'And even if they were shot after she received her title, I still don't find that an issue.'

Mr Pang feels those offended by the pictures are 'just square-headed' and 'probably don't attend parties'.

He also suspects that the photos may have been circulated maliciously.

'Some people may look upon Rachel as their role model, while some may see her as their enemy,' said Mr Pang.

These photos aren't Rachel's first brush with controversy.

This year's Miss Singapore Universe pageant was abuzz with talk of how she had allegedly skipped the preliminary audition rounds and compulsory activities, and was brought in midway to win the crown.

Mr Pang has always denied this.

No big deal

Ms Jaime Teo, 32, who won Miss Singapore Universe in 2001, told The New Paper over the phone that she hasn't seen the photos.

In any case, she feels 'it's not a problem at all'.

'People should loosen up. The society shouldn't see Miss Universe as a saint or angel. A beauty queen carries a good cause, but she still can have fun with friends,' she said.

But unlike Mr Pang, she believes Rachel's shot at the title may be affected if 'the matter blows up too much'.

'We are in a world where people's opinions matter.'

But she added: 'This may be a double-edged sword. Rachel may catch the judges' attention because of this.'

Ms Teo advises Rachel to 'do nothing' and just ride out the controversy.

Ms Sandy Chua, 24, a homemaker who won Miss Singapore Universe 2004, said: 'I think they (the netizens) are being too harsh. We should give our winners our support. After all, they are representing Singapore.'



Miss California USA 2009 Carrie Prejean was criticised for her comments about same-sex marriages. Racy photos of her also appeared on websites. Although organisers initially said she could keep her title, she lost it last month because of 'contract violations'.

Vanessa Williams (of TV dramedy Ugly Betty) made history as the first African-American to be crowned Miss America in 1983. But she handed back her crown when nude pictures of her were published. The actress has won Grammy, Emmy and Tony nominations.

Miss Great Britain 2006 Danielle Lloyd was stripped of her title after confessing that she was involved with footballer Teddy Sheringham, one of the judges during the competition.

Miss Australia 2006 Erin McNaught was renamed McNaughty at Miss Universe 2006 after it was discovered she had appeared topless in a magazine in 2004. The photos were reportedly not too explicit, so she was allowed to continue competing.

This article was first published in The New Paper

readers' comments
So many other wives are more beautiful (NATURAL + ORGINAL) than rachel kum. Asked Desmond Koh and Fandi, am sure they 101% agree to this comment. Why flaunt a fake when its a fake. Original is still the best.
Posted by audricum on Fri, 14 Aug 2009 at 14:10 PM

Did your wife join in the previous Miss singapore competition in her younger days ?

I rest my case.
Posted by TheBestIsYetToBe on Sat, 8 Aug 2009 at 06:20 AM
Little Dragon, are you nuts? I am a true Singaporean, if I am a foreigner FT/FW, I will not waste my time writing such comments. Anyway you don't sound like Local "Little Dragon" who do you think you are Bruce Lee? What a loser..
Posted by sureerat_tang on Fri, 7 Aug 2009 at 14:23 PM


Your remarks are vicious and uncalled for. I gather you are Thai perhaps working in Singapore. If so please go back.
Posted by Little Dragon on Fri, 7 Aug 2009 at 10:15 AM
Rachel is Miss Singapore Universe pageant? My God, give me a break.. does it means Singapore don't have more suitable contestant? She didn't have the look & intelligent. My prediction, she will not even make it to the 1st round. I am wondering how this judges Crown her and represent Singapore. In comparing her to my wife in term of beauty and education qualification, Rachel never comes near. What a joke, S'pore need a overhaul in selection of Judges to preside over it's Beauty Contest. Comparing to Thailand, they had 2 Miss Universe Title while Singapore has none.
Posted by sureerat_tang on Wed, 5 Aug 2009 at 10:28 AM

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