Former shuttler taken to task over racist remarks

PETALING JAYA: Right on the heels of a controversial remark by a national athlete, the Youth and Sports Ministry again condemned a former shuttler for touching on race and religion.

Emphasising that sports must be free of any racial or political elements, its minister Hannah Yeoh condemned the remarks by Bong Guan Yik in a TikTok video.

“I completely condemn his racially and religiously charged speech despite the apology he issued,” Yeoh twitted yesterday.

“All national athletes are a source of inspiration to the community and are advised to be careful with their social media content,” she reminded.

Yeoh also revealed that Bong does not live in Malaysia and that he was only a trainee in 2014, as per confirmation from the National Sports Council and the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

Meanwhile, BAM said they would be sending a complaint to the Chinese Badminton Association (CBA) as Bong is currently coaching in China.

“We strongly condemn all forms of discrimination and will urge the CBA to take the necessary action against this individual,” the association said in a Facebook post.

“Such a person should never be hired to work as a coach in a sport so loved by millions of people of all races and religions.

“BAM and all our affiliates will never accept such a person to be involved in badminton in Malaysia,” it added.

Bong has since apologised for touching on racial and religious sensitivities when he spoke about why the country’s players had flopped at the Malaysian Open 2023.

It was announced last week that hockey player Hanis Nadiah Onn had been suspended from all international competitions for making an offensive racist remark about the crowd who attended the A.R. Rahman concert at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Jan 28.

An inquiry committee, jointly headed by National Sports Council director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail and Malaysian Hockey Confederation president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal, found the Kluang-born player guilty of breaching the code of conduct.

The committee hopes the punishment would serve a lesson to all national athletes to be careful when making public statements on their social media platforms.

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