The Miss Linden Pageant, a major feature of the Linden Town Day celebrations, is in limbo following an allegation against a sponsor that has resulted in a call being made for the event to be cancelled.
Newly-minted Linden Mayor, Waneka Arrindell, when contacted yesterday and asked pointedly if the pageant will be cancelled said that all stakeholders are to meet and that a statement will be issued. Further pressed, she hinted that this may be the road the organisers may take but they need input from all involved including the contestants in the pageant.
Coordinator of the pageant, Crystal Lam expressed the view to this newspaper that the pageant should go ahead but pointed out that a decision has to be taken collectively by all involved before a final decision is made.
Speaking to Stabroek News, Police Commander of the area, Anthony Vanderhyden, confirmed that the police have launched an investigation into an allegation surrounding the pageant and that persons have been questioned. He said the police upon wrapping up their investigation will send the file to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice. He said so far no one is in custody.
For his part, former Mayor Carwyn Holland, who was still in office when the alleged incident occurred but said he only learnt of it in recent days, is advising the town council that in light of the recent allegation they should cancel the pageant. He suggested that that the contestants be crowned municipal ambassadors which will see them being used as role models and get them involved in developmental drives. In a statement, he said he is “deeply troubled” by the allegation and believes that it should be investigated thoroughly by the police.
In a press release earlier this week the Linden Mayor & Town Council (LMTC) said that it was “deeply concerned and regrets the occurrence of such incident tarnishing the image and integrity of pageantry and the municipality.” It denied playing any part in the covering up of the allegation.
And because one of its members has been fingered as being privy to the alleged incident, the Alliance For Change in a statement said that it has since informed its member that it will launch an investigation into the matter and “act accordingly with the findings.”