Tonga's national beauty contest embroiled in more controversy amid claim PNG contestant was racially abused

Tonga's Miss Heilala pageant is embroiled in more controversy – this time due to claims of racism following Friday night's dramatic on-stage accusations of bullying.

Miss Heilala 2018 Kalo Funganitao's final address has gone viral after organisers tried to shut her down when she accused them of a lack of support and spoke of being the target of cyberbullying.

While her microphone was switched off and loud music was played over her speech, family and contestants gathered around her in support – one of them videoing her.

Read more: Scenes of chaos at Tonga’s national beauty pageant as organisers try to shut down student's speech

But now, further issues have emerged, with claims someone in the VIP stand yelled out "you're black and ugly – disgusting" to Papua New Guinea's Leoshina Mercy Kariha.

The Miss Pacific Pageant winner was giving her address when the comment was made and there are claims she left the pageant early.

A Facebook post from a Papua New Guinea community group about the racist comment aimed at Miss Heilala contestant Leoshina Mercy Kariha. Source: Facebook / PNG Men's Group - Opinions Page

In a Facebook post this morning, Ms Kariha addressed the comment, saying the comment was "hurtful" but she "wont let the nasty comments of one person dictate my work going forward."

She said apart from the comment, she has been warmly welcomed in Tonga and says there should be no division between different pacific countries.

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Organisers tried to shut down outgoing Miss Heilala Queen during her final address. Source: 1 NEWS

However, it hasn't gone down so well in Papua New Guinea, with community groups demanding an apology from the Tongans and that action be taken against the person.

Comments include: "It's appalling that our Pacific Island neighbours discriminate against us when they themselves are often discriminated against", "black day for Pacific Islands", and "we need an apology by the Tongan ambassador before anything happens."

Director of Tonga's Women and Children's crisis centre, Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki, has spoken up about the incident, saying it is not acceptable.

"As a Tongan, I apologise. I say sorry to Leoshina for having experience such racist behaviour and comment made to her in my country, Tonga."

Other Tongans have also expressed their disgust and say it's not reflective of the wider community.