Malaysia sports minister speaks out against judgment of women athletes

PHOTO: The Star

PETALING JAYA - Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin spoke out against the holier-than-thou attitude of some people against women athletes who are Muslim.

Khairy on Saturday retweeted a comic strip by artist VulpineNinja that depicted pictures of two women athletes that were posted on Facebook and receiving negative comments.

The first comic showed a woman dressed in a sleeveless top, and a cap, proudly holding up a medal.

The caption that accompanied the picture read as: "Hey, I just won a marathon! It's a tiring day, but I'm going to hang out at Setabak later. Wanna join?"

The picture then received comments such as: "Even if you want to participate in sports, you should wear a headscarf! Stupid!" and "Aren't you afraid of going to hell?"

In contrast, the second comic shows another woman who is fully covered in a long sleeved blouse and headscarf, holding up a medal she won.

The caption read: "Picking up my sister from the marathon... guess what? She won! I'm so proud of her!"

The following comments were sexual in nature, with many people commenting on her breasts.

"I wonder what her size is," said one comment. "Must be a D," said another.

Khairy tweeted that even though it is just a comic strip, it shows the judgement that some women athletes receive.

"I am not sure who created this (comic) but it very accurately depicts the bad holier-than-thou culture of judgmental Malays," tweeted Khairy on Saturday.

In June, Malaysian gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi received similar judgmental comments after she won six medals, including two gold medals, at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.

Many chastised her for her "revealing" gymnastic attire rather than praising her for her achievement.

Khairy defended Farah, saying that only the Almighty judges her, and that we should focus on her achievements instead.