Pandelela says she accepts Ahmad Faizal's explanation

PETALING JAYA: Diving star Datuk Pandelela Rinong accepts the explanation by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu that his remarks at a recent press conference had been misquoted by the media.

Ahmad Faizal was quoted to have allegedly downplayed Pandelela’s sexual harassment revelations.

In a reply to Ahmad Faizal’s tweet on Tuesday (Oct 26), she said she now understood the whole scenario after watching the video of the minister’s press conference when the media asked him to comment on her revelation.

"It’s okay YB, I understand the whole scenario now after watching this video (of the press conference). The male reporter who questioned you raised some red flags though," she said in a tweet on Tuesday (Oct 26).

Earlier, Pandelela had also tweeted her appreciation to Ahmad Faizal for his willingness to listen and probe the matter.

"I sincerely welcome YB (Ahmad Faizal) to @KBSMalaysia. Thank you for listening and willing to find out, hopefully YB can help to support the Malaysia Diving Team to be better in the future," she said.

Ahmad Faizal was quoted by news portal Free Malaysia Today as questioning why Pandelela only brought up the issue via social media now as the incident happened "long ago".

"I am trying to understand why after a long time, Lela wants to put this out in the social media," he was quoted as saying on Monday (Oct 25).

During the press conference, Ahmad Faizal was also heard saying that he has been in touch with several people regarding the incident and he also urged all athletes to speak up on any forms of sexual harassment.

Responding to Ahmad Faizal, Pandelela, in a tweet on Monday (Oct 25) night, said she had shared her experience because she wanted to offer support to other victims out there.

The Olympic medallist, who recently revealed that she got bullied by a former coach after she confronted him for his lewd jokes, said she also hoped to encourage future victims to be brave and speak up.

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