It is common for us to feel proud when our fellow Malaysian made it to the international stage. However, things will be a bit awkward if it happened to be an ex-Malaysian.
Recently, Singaporean shuttler Loh Kean Yew won the gold medal in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Championship 2021 finals. Many were happy for the Penang-born player for his achievements, including Malaysians.
However, things went sour when Loh paid homage to his country, Singapore.
Loh secured the gold medal on 19th December after a hard-won battle as he faced off India’s Kidambi Srikanth, clinching the game with 21-15 and 22-10. Victory was sweet for the world No.22 player as he entered the competition unseeded and yet won the gold medal.
This is also the first time a Singaporean has won the BWF World Championship title. Overwhelmed with joy, Loh kissed the Singaporean flag on his jersey after the game.
While this is a common action for most athletes, this particular action has apparently angered many Malaysians.
According to NetEase, Malaysians interpreted that the kiss was as if Loh was declaring Malaysia had nothing to do with his win. Apparently, Malaysian badminton fans have been claiming that Loh was one of our own as he was born in Penang.
Some said Loh may have began his love for badminton in Malaysia, but his skills were definitely trained in Singapore after he received a scholarship from Singapore Sports School when he was 13.
Meanwhile, Mothership reported that Loh did miss Malaysia and he was angry when it was time for him to move over to Singapore, as all his friends were in Malaysia.
“But my mother already bought the ticket to send me here, so what choice was I given? Slowly, I started to make friends and adapt to life here,” he said.
After 11 years living in Singapore, Loh eventually falls in love with the country. He had also relinquished his Malaysian citizenship and became a Singapore citizen in 2015.
While Malaysians were claiming for Loh’s victory, most had forgotten that Loh earned his victory through his hard work and dedication. He definitely deserves the medal and there is no doubt that both Malaysia and Singapore were part of his journey to attain the medal.
Meanwhile, Loh had no hard feelings against the other national players too. He had maintained a good relationship with both Lee Zii Jia and Danish shuttler Viktor Axelsen!
Nonetheless, we hope that we can be as mature as the badminton players and accept his win without criticising him.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!