Don't take Schooling's comments to heart: Khairy

Sportsman of the Year Joseph Schooling at the Singapore Sports Awards on Aug 8, 2017.
Sportsman of the Year Joseph Schooling at the Singapore Sports Awards on Aug 8, 2017.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has urged his countrymen not to be oversensitive about the "teaching them a thing or two" remark attributed to Singapore's Olympic champion swimmer Joseph Schooling.

 He said yesterday that Malaysians needed to share the excitement and honour of Schooling being the sole Olympic gold medallist from South-east Asia in the SEA Games' swimming competition.

"Let's not dwell on this too much," he said, adding that it was important to remember that Schooling's mother, May, is a Malaysian and that he did not think the swimmer meant it in a negative manner.

The 22-year-old  has already clarified that his comments about going to "Malaysia's backyard" during this month's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur and "teaching them a thing or two" had been taken out of context.

"I was actually talking about the younger kids going there, and teaching all the rookies a thing or two about the launch pad that we have in the SEA Games to bigger and better meets in the future," he said on Tuesday.

The SEA Games runs from Aug 19-30, with 404 events across 38 sports.

MISCONSTRUED

I was actually talking about the younger kids going there, and teaching all the rookies a thing or two about the launch pad that we have in the SEA Games to bigger and better meets in the future.

JOSEPH SCHOOLING , Olympic 100m butterfly champion, on his remark about how swimmers should use the SEA Games as a springboard being taken out of context.

Pointing out that the biennial Games was a celebration, Mr Khairy, speaking after opening the Main Press Centre and International Broadcast Centre for the SEA Games  at the Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Centre, expressed the hope that the matter would be put to rest.

BERNAMA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2017, with the headline 'Don't take Schooling's comments to heart: Khairy'. Print Edition | Subscribe