Sukma scandal: Security present at sports village, but not round-the-clock vigilance

A view of sports village in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

PETALING JAYA - Directors from various state sports council have acknowledged the presence of security personnel at the Sukma Sports Village in Universiti Putra Malaysia, but they did not expect round-the-clock vigilance.

"You can't be expecting them to be on-guard for 24 hours. They are human beings too," said Selangor Sports Council director Shamsul Shahril.

He claimed that security was tight at the Sports Village but security personnel have to flexible at times.

Perak Sports Council deputy director Mazlan Mohamad agreed, saying we should not "expect a sports village to be a boarding school".

Both said their respective state contingents have been trouble-free as they followed protocols set by the management.

"We set the ground rules for our athletes and they have been well-behaved," said Shamsul.

Mazlan added that state sports officials met everyday during the games.

"Our contingent meets every day to ensure the safety of athletes and also to do a post-mortem of our athletes' performances on that day.

"Our officials know where they stay and when they go out," he said.

Both were disappointed with the recent rape allegation as it had tarnished the country's sporting reputation.

"I believe they took alcohol to release stress. They (the Federal Territory handball team) were knocked out at the group stage and this would have led them to consume alcohol," said Shamsul.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had earlier accused Federal Territory handball team officials of joining players in their drinking session and both Mazlan and Shamsul condemned the behaviour, if true.

"Officials are the mental trainers of the team, and they play a key role in maintaining the composure and attitude of athletes," said Shamsul.

"It's a shame to see a coach partying around with his athletes at the sports village," added Mazlan.

The Federal Territories sports council did not give any comment when contacted.

The alleged rape took place during the recently-concluded games at the Sukma Sports Village at UPM.

A 20-year-old female chaperone from the Federal Territory handball team was said to have been raped by three teenage athletes after having drinks with them in the dormitory at the village.

The three athletes, Adib Adha Ismail, 18, Megat Farzeril Faiz Megat Razali and Mohammad Shaizzad Md Shafie, both 19, were arrested and have claimed trial to the charge of raping the female chaperone on Thursday.