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DAPSY slams Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Liow Tiong Lai for politicizing Malaysia badminton team

Media Statement
by Loke Siew Fook


(Petaling Jaya, Monday) : DAPSY slams Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports and MCA Youth Chief Datuk Liow Tiong Lai for going so low to the extent of politicizing the Malaysian badminton team in particular the recent All-England and Swiss Open doubles champion Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong for MCA own narrow political interest.

On 7th April last Saturday, Tiong Lai misused his deputy ministerial position to invite Kien Keat and Boon Heong to Machap Baru in the name of “Love Badminton Campaign”. The timing of the event in the midst of the Machap by-election campaign clearly showed that the MCA tried to capitalize on the duo’s popularity to draw in the crowd.  

Tiong Lai not only dare not accept DAPSY’s challenge to engage in a public political debate in Machap but he is also not confident that he can attract the attention of Machap voters if he is to speak to the extent that he had to depends on the badminton stars to be the pull factor to their events.  

I pity Kien Keat and Boon Heong for being forced to attend all these unnecessary events although they are very reluctant to do so. They have publicly said that they are quite uncomfortable to attend non-badminton related activities which can affect their concentration on the sports. After their recent successes, their coach Rexy Mainaky had forewarned that too much distraction for the duo will do no good to their games and this will also affect their concentration to maximise their full potentials. Can the Youth and Sports Ministry convince us that signing autographs can improve the level of their games? 

We are all very proud of Kien Keat and Boon Heong and we want them to succeed consistently in their badminton career. The ultimate goal for them must be winning the first ever Olympics gold medal for the country. For this to happen, they must be left alone with their coaches to train even harder and not be misused by certain politicians for narrow political interest and in this case directly robbed in for a by-election campaign. All Malaysian badminton fans can still remember how proud we are when we won the Thomas Cup in 1992. But what happened since then? The major problem in Malaysian sports is too much politicking and this must be stopped. 

DAPSY urges more members of the public to voice out their dissatisfactions about our sportsmen being used by politicians and lets Machap be the last stop for the duo and we certainly do not want to hear another “Love Badminton Campaign” in Ijok in the next few weeks. “Promoting” the sports by signing autograph is not the responsibility of Kien Keat and Boon Heong or any other national players. Train harder, fight in the court and win medals for the country is.


*Loke Siew Fook, DAPSY National Secretary and State Assemblyman for Lobak

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