Miss World has axed the famed bikinis from this year's pageant in Indonesia, replacing the skimpy swimsuits with conservative beach sarongs amid mounting protests from hard-line Muslim groups, organizers said Thursday.
All of the more than 130 contestants will be required to wear Bali's traditional long sarongs instead of the sexy bikinis that are historically part of the competition, said Adjie S. Soeratmadjie of the RCTI, the official broadcaster and local organizer.
The pageant will be held Sept. 28 on the resort island of Bali and in Sentul, an area near the capital, Jakarta. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country.
"There will no bikini in this year's Miss World pageant to respect our traditional customs and values," Soeratmadjie said, adding that the London-based Miss World Organization is on board with the decision.
"This is a sensitive issue in Indonesia. We have discussed it since last year and they have agreed," he said.