Tunku Imran wants ath­letes and guests from Asean re­gion to be treated with dig­nity

New Straits Times - - Sport -


MALAYSIANS must em­brace the Asean fam­ily with grace and dig­nity dur­ing the Sea Games, and not make the ri­vals feel un­wel­come, said Olympic Coun­cil of Malaysia (OCM) pres­i­dent Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar.

To­mor­row, the Games will un­of­fi­cially be­gin at the foot­ball and net­ball venues. Many ath­letes and of­fi­cials from neigh­bour­ing coun­tries have al­ready ar­rived.

“There is bound to be prob­lems in such a mam­moth event but I would like to see the ath­letes and of­fi­cials as well as fans from the Asean re­gion treated with dig­nity.

“We need to make them feel at home so that they re­turn with good mem­o­ries of the Games. Let’s not turn small prob­lems into moun­tains and then harp on it,” said Tunku Imran.

He re­minded fans at the swim­ming venue not to jeer Sin­ga­pore’s Olympic cham­pion Joseph School­ing for his re­mark which was mis­con­strued.

“I had the op­por­tu­nity to be on the same aero­plane with School­ing re­cently and we had a good chat. To me, he has a very nice per­son­al­ity and is a gen­tle chap.

“What he ac­tu­ally meant was that since the Sea Games is at their backyard (of the neigh­bour) it will be a good time to teach the young Sin­ga­pore swim­ming team a thing or two.

“But it was taken out of con­text, and ne­ti­zens said all kinds of things on so­cial me­dia,” said Tunku Imran.

School­ing, who up­set Amer­i­can leg­end Michael Phelps in the men’s 100m but­ter­fly in the Rio Olympics last year told Chan­nel News Asia re­cently: “We have a chance to do some­thing spe­cial at the Sea Games. The 2015 (Sea Games) was some­thing spe­cial for us. I think it will be nice to go to Malaysia’s backyard and teach them a thing or two.”

Tunku Imran said the “them” in the sen­tence re­ferred to School­ing’s young team­mates, and not Malaysian swim­mers.

The OCM will be mon­i­tor­ing the Games, and to deal with prob­lems, they have set up a con­trol and cri­sis room, said sec­re­tary­gen­eral Datuk Low Beng Choo.

“Tunku Imran and I will per­son­ally man the cri­sis and con­trol room with oth­ers to make sure the Games run in a smooth and friendly man­ner,” said Beng Choo.

Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar

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