Sexual harassment has been the hot topic in Malaysia since the past few weeks, after several cases had surfaced and went viral on social media. One of the prominent figure who have spoken up is our national diver, Pandelela Rinong who revealed that her former coach had cracked rape jokes which made her very uncomfortable. She also said that the coach was then involved in a rape case 7 years later.
In response to the matter, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Faizal Azumu has asked Pandelela on her intentions of bringing up this case suddenly.
“I would like to understand the whole scenario on why Lela put out a statement on her social media account suddenly after so long?” he was quoted saying by Berita Harian.
He added that he has been contacting a few athletes and the previous Minister of Youths and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin to talk about this issue.
“Everyone of us, not only from the ministry, should be against these actions. Sexual jokes are a type of harassment, just as how something that is more severe is also a form of harassment. We need to be against that.” he said.
In addition, he also urge athletes to report these incidents immediately to the authorities in the event they encountered sexual harassment.
“Don’t stay silent on this as it is a criminal offence that we need to battle together.”
Meanwhile, there were some who perceived that Faizal Azumu had been questioning the victim for standing up despite the case being from years ago.
Pandelela had also tweeted that she had brought the matter up only now to create an awareness to the public.
“I shared my “not so nice” experience to give awareness to the public, and support for victims out there, who are always in dilemma, whether to speak up or stay silent. Most importantly, enabler and their backups shouldn’t be glamorised. Others may forget, but not the victim.” she tweeted.
After the incident, Faizal then explained that his real intention was to seek further clarification from Pandelela and other parties allegedly involved in the matter, and that the media had taken his statement out of context.
Saya tidak langsung mempersoalkn apa yg diadukn oleh @Pandelela_R apa yg saya katakn adalh utk mngetahui lebih lanjut apa yg berlaku.This is a very serious matter, we must ensure a safe environment for our athletes at all levels. Lela I’m with you. https://t.co/oQINDScFg4— Faizal Azumu (@PejaOfPerak) October 26, 2021
The Sports Minister had attached a video in the tweet to clarify his statement.
“I absolutely am not questioning Pandelela’s experience. What I said is that we need to know more about what happened. This is a very serious matter, we must ensure a safe environment for our athletes at all levels. Lela I’m with you.” he said in the tweet.
After watching the press conference, she now understood the entire scenario and shout out for the Minister for willing to listen to her and find out more about this.
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