Hannah looks at new sports culture after disturbing 'volleyball slapping' incident

08 Jan 2023 01:04pm
Photo source : Sinar Harian
Photo source : Sinar Harian

SHAH ALAM - National Sports Council (MSN) has been told to probe the 'volleyball slapping issue' to get insights into culture practiced by them.

In an exlusive interview with Sinar Premium, Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh said discussions are being held with the education ministry to overcome such culture.

"The probe was conducted to examine how we could improve the training and culture in sports. When it involves children, most of them consider this kind of incident "normal". For me, there is no different treatment whether the coach is in Olympic or represents a school.

"If this culture is considered as an internal problem, I am worried that the next generation will not be interested and afraid to try out sports.

"Every day, Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek and I will discuss these issues because we want to create a new culture so that incidents like this will not repeat," she said.

Hannah said the rules and guidelines needs to be changed to stop such culture.

This comes after a video showing a coach slapping two players for the Melaka team in the Under-14 Youth Volleyball Championship went viral. The Melaka volleyball team had defended the coach despite slapping two teenage girls.

Hannah also said her ministry is drafting Safe Sports Act to curb sexual harrasment in the sporting industry.

"In terms of law, the country already has provisions under the Penal Code for sexual harassment but not used by the public due to its nature of crime and other constraints."

Therefore, the government approved the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act in Parliament to establish a tribunal to handle the complaints. However, we are still waiting for the act to be implemented," said Hannah.

On Oct 21 2021, Datuk Pandelela Rinong, an Olympian claimed she had to endure sexual jokes and comments from one of her coaches for seven years.

She recalled how she once told the coach off after she had enough of his lewd jokes and was further bullied by coach. The coach was charged with the rape of another athlete.

Pandelela also revealed that her decision to reveal her personal experience in Twitter was also to create awareness of the ongoing abuses and to encourage victims to speak up on their own abuse.

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