PETALING JAYA: Host Australia are still reeling from the shock of a cheating incident involving their cricketers.
And Malaysia’s long-time serving official Datuk Sieh Kok Chi hopes the Malaysian athletes at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, will not resort to cheating and embarrass the nation.
All Malaysian athletes under the leadership of chef-de-mission Huang Ying How have begun leaving for Gold Coast in batches for the Games from April 4-15.
“Let it be a clean Games for Malaysia,” said Kok Chi, assistant secretary of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).
Australia’s cricket team captain Steve Smith and two others were handed heavy bans and sent home last week for a ball-tampering issue in the ongoing third Test in Cape Town, South Africa.
The controversy has cast a pall of gloom over Australia’s excitement as host of the Games.
Kok Chi said the Australian cricketers episode should serve as a valuable lesson to others and hoped Malaysian athletes will uphold integrity at all times.
“We don’t want our teams to bring dishonour, more so when they are abroad,” said Kok Chi.
“Sport is seen as an alternative side of life – it is fun, sportive, competitive and portrays the better-self. Unfortunately, some do not want to compete on a level-playing field.
Kok Chi said athletes and officials tend to be their own worst enemies.
“I like this quote by an American commander Oliver Perry – ‘we have met the enemy, and he is us’ – because we often bring trouble to ourselves although the battle is against the opponents.
“The athletes and officials should uphold and instil values.
“The athletes should be disciplined and be respectful of one another. Sometimes, we give in to selfish desires, internal bickering, power and politicking.
“And Malaysian officials should be consistent in making decisions too – if one athlete is faulted for indiscipline, all others should face the same.
“Being just and fair is also equally important to make this Games a clean and successful one,” he added.
A total of 178 Malaysian athletes – comprising 102 men and 76 women – and 96 officials will feature in Gold Coast.
The national contingent are hoping to surpass their last Games’ medal haul of six gold, seven silver and six bronze medals in Glasgow in 2014.