The Mahahang has issued an apology after being called into the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts in the wake of the Miss Grand program’s costumes being slammed for being too seductive.
The move comes after Prime Minister Hun Sen directed the Ministry to evaluate the Miss Grand program in the wake of criticism from artists and the public.
On September 1, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts hosted an inter-ministerial meeting with the Ministry of Women's Affairs, Ministry of Information, and Mahahang company. The aim was to evaluate the Miss Grand Cambodia program, which recently received heavy criticism for competitors wearing sexy dresses.
According to a post from the Ministry of Culture, the ministry has advised the director of Mahahang to be more aware of Cambodian culture and identity, particularly the value of Cambodian women.
“The Ministry suggested that the company collaborate closely with the relevant institution to avoid intentional or unintentional mistakes that could harm Cambodia's culture and the worth of Cambodian women,” it added.
The Mahahang company apologised to the public for all unintentional mistakes and promised to work closely with the relevant institution to avoid replicating mistakes in the future in order to promote the dignity of Cambodian women, the statement said.
Hun Sen requested the Minister of Culture and Fine Arts examine the Miss Grand program during a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of two new flyovers in Phnom Penh on August 31.
He said that he did not know how wrong it was, but that when people share their views and remorse, their voices should be heard and corrected.
“Those that attend the competition are not at fault, as they have to perform and dress as instructors tell them to. If they don't wear it, it doesn't meet the competition's standard,” he said. “So the competitors are not wrong, but the managers and leaders are.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Women's Affairs said it strongly opposes such acts, which do not promote traditional culture and national identity but also have a negative impact on Cambodian women's honour, dignity, and values, according to a Ministry of Women’s Affairs post on August 31.