KUCHING: Victims of sexual harassments must be empowered when they voice out any incidents of sexual harassment instead of questioning their motives, said Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.
In responding to a recent news article on Federal Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu questioning national diving queen Datuk Pandelela Rinong’s revelations on alleged sexual harassment by her former coach, Dr Yii described the former’s action as horrible.
“Instead, he (Ahmad Faizal) should be asking about who else who have been sexual harassed but decided not to speak out because of fear or other various reasons,” he said in a Facebook on Tuesday (Oct 26).
He said that victims of sexual harassment are often traumatised for many years and some a lifetime, and applauded Pandelela’s courage for speaking out even though she still faces judgement and pressure until today for doing so.
Disappointed that the ministry cannot assure the safety of the young athletes, Dr Yii also said that the minister himself has failed to see and address the issue from the right perspective.
“He (Ahmad Faizal) should order an investigation on the present situation at the ministry’s training centres to give assurances to the public, especially parents whose children are under training, that no similar incident will happen again,” he stressed.
He pointed out that it is important to provide a safe environment for the country’s athletes and keep them from being physically or mentally abused which will directly contribute to better performances on the field.
“There must be no room for harassment, sexism or discrimination in sports,” he said.
Even with the clarification by Ahmad Faizal that he was being misquoted by the media for his remarks on the matter, Dr Yii said this must serve as a lesson that such an issue should not be taken lightly or even swept under the carpet.