PETALING JAYA: The “ultra kiasu” athletes in Malaysia today are more interested in competing for monetary rewards rather than for patriotic reasons, says controversial preacher Ridhuan Tee Abdullah.
He reasoned that this was why the “ultra kiasu” – a label he normally reserves to describe the ethnic Chinese community – were more involved in individual sports, rather than those that required teamwork, he wrote in his recent column in Sinar Harian today.
“Sports today has become a business, a platform to seek popularity, money, instead of being about patriotism.
“Football and hockey for example, which requires the strength of jamaah (congregation) can no longer interest the non-Malays. Why? (Because) today, individual events are where the money is.
“That is why they want to focus on individual events as the rewards are much bigger,” said Tee.
He added that this was the individualistic nature of the “ultra kiasu”, while the Malays were different in this respect as they were still fond of “celebrating” when together in a group.
Tee questioned why national badminton hero Lee Chong Wei was the only one who received heaps of praise following his silver medal win in the recently concluded Rio Olympic 2016.
“Why was only Lee celebrated when there were others who also bagged medals in the Olympics? How would other athletes like Pandelela Rinong and Azizulhasni Awang feel?
“Have we forgotten about Khairul Idham Pawi, who won the German Moto3 Grand Prix? He had to fork out his own money to pay for his participation in a previous race in Argentina.
“We have to be fair to all. Where are all the Malay athletes?”
Tee also called for sports to be left to the management of sport officials instead of politicians. The latter should only support rather than take centrestage, added Tee.
Malaysians athletes in Rio de Janeiro delivered their best performance ever, winning the country four silver medals and one bronze.