Criticise me, not Fatin, Syed Saddiq says in defence of skateboarder

PUTRAJAYA: Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has called on the people, especially netizens, to stop abusing skateboarder Fatin Syahirah Roszizi following her performance at the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games.

He said the criticism should be directed at him, as the minister, and the association responsible for choosing the 16-year-old to compete at the Games.

“I will continue to defend Fatin on her patriotism for taking on the challenge of representing the nation at a young age,” he said when met during the National Day 2018 celebration at Dataran Putrajaya here today.

He was responding to criticisms hurled at Fatin after a video clip of her performance went viral. Netizens slammed the teenager after she scored the lowest and for her overall performance in the competition.

But Syed Saddiq said the people should celebrate Fatin’s courage in competing with international champions and they should show her their unwavering support.

He added that the critics should consider the association’s explanation that only a few people turned up for the try-outs and Fatin was among the best.

Syed Saddiq said he had asked his officers to arrange a meeting with Fatin to express his and his ministry’s support for the athlete as she showed potential.

Meanwhile, he also voiced out his disappointment with those who made an issue out of the attire worn by national gymnast Izzah Amzan after a video of the teenage athlete performing at the Asian Games was uploaded to her Instagram.

Syed Saddiq said these critics focused only on what she was wearing although the clip she shared was to promote the sport.

“I’m disappointed. Rhythmic gymnastics is not an easy sport and they have to go through various challenges before they can be called gymnasts,” he said.

Some social media users took issue with what was worn by the 17-year-old athlete, saying it did not cover her “aurat” and suggested she wear long pants while competing.