Miss Universe contender faces charges
From correspondents in Jakarta
July 24, 2006
INDONESIA'S Miss Universe entrant may face indecency charges after a hardline Muslim group complained to police about her appearance on a Los Angeles stage in a bikini.
The women's chapter of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) want Indonesian authorities to prosecute Miss Indonesia, Nadine Chandrawinata.
The group's lawyer Sugito, who uses only one name, said Ms Chandrawinata "intentionally and openly engaged in indecency" before she was eliminated after the contest's first round.
"Her vulgar appearance at Miss Universe is an insult to Indonesian women," he said, adding that beauty pageants run counter to the culture of Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation.
Sugito said a still valid government decree issued in 1984 when dictator Suharto was in power bans Indonesians from taking part in beauty pageants.
Although the decree technically remains in force, authorities have relaxed the ban since Suharto's downfall in 1998.
Indonesia sent Artika Sari Devia to the 2005 Miss Universe pageant, its first entrant in almost a decade.