PETALING JAYA - The #KitaLawan controversy has kicked up another storm with Selangor's decision to use the slogan for its athletes at next year's Malaysia Games (Sukma 2016) in Sarawak.
The logo was revealed on Friday by Selangor executive councillor for sports Amirudin Shari after chairing a meeting with state sports associations on Friday.
Secretary-General of the Malaysian Basketball Association (Maba) Datuk Yeoh Choo Hock disagreed with the choice of the slogan, saying "sports should not be mixed with politics".
"They (Selangor government) should give high regard to the true spirit of sports and trying to get young athletes involved in their political fight is not appropriate," he said.
Malaysia's Chef-de-Mission for the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games Tan Sri Abdul Halil Mutalib said it was obvious that the slogan had a "political overtone".
"Like it or not, when you put such a connotation, people will see it as (something) political,'' he added.
Former Malaysian Weightlifting Federation president Zafarul Akbar Kassim said sports should be a tool to nurture positive values.
He said the Selangor Sports Council was unfit to lead the Selangor contingent to Sukma, which is the country's biggest sporting event.
"It is because they cannot differentiate between sport's positive values and politics. That tarnishes the beauty of sports," he stressed.
National elite gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi expressed her disappointment, saying it was a disgrace for Selangor to involve young athletes in any political dispute.
"Gymnasts competing in Sukma are as young as 12 and it is not fair to manipulate them for any political motive," she added.
Former Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman called for action to be taken against the Selangor Sports Council.
"That is too much. It shows that Selangor is desperate. They should be looking after the welfare of the people.
"Indirectly, they are teaching the younger generation to rebel and I hope the current Youth and Sports Minister (Khairy Jamaluddin) will take the necessary action,'' she said.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the Selangor government "should know what the motto refers to".
"It includes asking people to lawan (fight) to free (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim). We will monitor them and if the motto is used to carry out that meaning, the organisers are asking for trouble," he told The Star.
#KitaLawan is the name of a series of rallies by the opposition and human rights groups to protest the incarceration of Anwar, who has been jailed for sodomy.
The term has also evolved to include other protest demands, including stopping the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax and for Khalid himself to be sacked.