Malaysians demand chess tournament director quit

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PETALING JAYA: Many are calling for the resignation of a chess tournament director after he allegedly told a 12-year-old participant that her dress was “improper”.

According to The Star, pictures said to be of Sophian A Yusof are making the rounds on social media, accompanied by angry messages telling him to resign.

Checks found one such picture, which claimed Sophian is also the assistant secretary for the Malaysian Chess Federation.

The picture’s caption read: “He should be removed from his post as assistant secretary in the Malaysian Chess Federation. He is an embarrassment to the country.”

Other pictures allegedly showed Sophian’s profile and cover pictures, while The Star added that Facebook users were flooding his page with criticism.

The report also quoted PKR women’s chief Zuraida Kamaruddin as saying that the tournament director should have been more “humane and diplomatic”.

“I am very agitated over the issue. I feel for the girl as if she were my own daughter,” she was reported as saying.

At the National Scholastic Chess Championship 2017, which took place on April 14 to 16, Sophian had reportedly considered the girl’s knee-length dress “seductive” and “a temptation from a certain angle far, far away”.

According to the girl’s coach, Kaushal Khandhar, the chief arbiter had informed the girl that the dress she wore was improper and violated the tournament’s dress code.

In a Facebook post on April 28, Kaushal added that the chief arbiter had later told the girl and her mother that the tournament director (Sophian) had deemed her dress “seductive” and a “temptation from a certain angle far, far away”.

Kaushal said the incident had left his student feeling “harassed” and “humiliated”, while many social media users hit out at the tournament officials, calling for action against them and the organisers.

The girl, who is the Kuala Lumpur district champion, subsequently withdrew from the competition, as she was not able to get something “appropriate” to wear before the following day of the competition which started at 9am. The girl and her mother were said to be staying at a hotel in Putrajaya for the competition.

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