No swimwear for Miss Singapore World pageant?

SINGAPORE - What is a beauty pageant without a swimwear parade?

To the organisers of Miss Singapore World, cutting or reducing the pageant staple may inject much-needed respectability to the contest.

Earlier this year, Miss World CEO Julia Morley slammed the local pageant as "having a showgirl club image".

In January, businessman Raymund Ooi, 46, was appointed by the Miss World title owners to run the local franchise.

Since then, Mr Ooi has been making changes, intending to bring the shine back to the pageant.

Mr Ooi, owner of event company Limelite Productions, told The Straits Times that the organisers will either cut or reduce the swimwear segment to "a quick walk-through".

Other changes introduced by Mr Ooi included a greater focus on community work and showcasing the contestants' intellectual abilities.

At a press conference in Sentosa's Wave House yesterday to unveil this year's 20 finalists, Mr Ooi said the judges will evaluate the contestants' physiques at a separate beach event instead of at the final show.

The final will be held at Suntec City in September.