KUALA LUMPUR: Gerakan Youth leader Tan Keng Liang has criticised local newspapers that conveyed disappointment with the silver medal won by Malaysia’s mixed doubles badminton pair Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying at the Olympic games.
Earlier this week, a photograph of two newspapers containing negative headlines about the pair went viral on the internet.
Kosmo! said “Peng Soon-Liu Ying disappoints millions of Malaysians” while Berita Harian wrote “Mixed doubles only manage a silver” on their front pages.
While declining to name the papers, Tan slammed the negative light shone on the athletes, saying that Malaysians in general should be proud of such an achievement.
“They made history. Please give some respect to their achievements. I was watching it with the Kedah Menteri Besar and we all stood up to clap even when we lost because it is an amazing achievement,” said Tan.
He also commented on the DAP’s firebrand former member Hew Kuan Yau, who said that Malaysia would go home “empty handed” if the Chinese “balik China” (return to China), the phrase often used as to taunt the community.
“Please-lah, Malaysians achieved this, not Chinese. All Malaysians should be proud,” said Tan.
He said Gerakan Youth would submit a memorandum to the Sports Ministry, suggesting that the budget for sports development be doubled.
“We now know that Malaysian athletes are of international standard. We should no longer focus on just being Malaysian champions, but world champions instead. We are hoping that the government can give better support for sports development in the country,” said Tan.
He did not say when the memorandum would be submitted.