Ris still the best: Runner-up
by Teo Xuanwei
05:55 AM Sep 30, 2009
IN THE eyes of the public, she is a disgrace. At the hands of the media, she was vilified.
But Miss Singapore World 2009 Ris Low Yi Min is still the "best" - in the words of the woman who is set to take her crown, pageant runner-up Claire Lee.
"Even up to now, I'd still want Ris to represent Singapore at the finals in South Africa," she said.
"In terms of stage performance, her poise and catwalk, she was the best and deserved to win."
Even as competition rules stipulate that Ms Lee, 23, is next in line to assume the crown, the Nanyang Technological University aerospace engineering graduate is not riled by pageant organiser ERM World Marketing's announcement that it "will be interviewing a new representative to represent Singapore at Miss World 2009".
"I'm neutral about it, really. ERM probably wants to be more careful after all that has happened," she said matter-of-factly and added that she had not received any calls from ERM, when MediaCorp interviewed her last night.
So, would she accept the invitation to represent Singapore?
Ms Lee would "need to discuss with (her) parents first". "But if I go, I'll do my best and try to make a difference," she said.
Is she worried her background would be the next to come under intense public scrutiny?
Ms Lee admitted it was "something that (she) thought about for a while ... but I don't think I have anything to hide, so it's okay".
Describing herself as "probably Ris' closest friend during the pageant", Ms Lee said her last phone calls to Ms Low on Saturday went unanswered.
"I think she has enough problems and headaches now, so I don't want to disturb her further."
Ms Low later sent her an SMS to say she was fine.
And despite the public outcry over Ms Low's credit card fraud conviction, Ms Lee was resolute in her support for the former, whom she described as "someone who shares; very easy-going and helpful".