Sexual harassment: Para swimming coach goes on leave- Hannah

Appropriate action will be taken against the coach if found guilty in the ongoing police investigation.

29 Feb 2024 01:56pm
Hannah Yeoh. Photo by Bernama
Hannah Yeoh. Photo by Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR - The coach linked to the sexual harassment case involving national swimmers has gone on leave until the investigation into the issue of misconduct is completed, said Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh.

Hannah said as soon as the report was received recently, the safeguarding officer of the National Sports Council (MSN) held a meeting with the athletes involved to protect their rights through the Safe Sports code which was launched on March 15 last year.

She stressed that appropriate action will be taken against the coach if she is found guilty in the ongoing police investigation.

"Receiving an email in the account is like a flying letter and when a police report was made, we immediately rested the coach to make sure the investigation continues.

"But if this (email) letter is correct, MSN will take immediate action.. but if the reporting of all this continues and the (email) letter is not true, I can foresee legal action coming," she told reporters after inaugurating the Safe Sports Code: Anti-Sexual Harassment in Sports seminar at the National Sports Institute in Bukit Jalil here today.

She also said that there are some national swimming athletes who want the service of the coach to continue guiding the team in preparation for the Paris Paralympic Games 2024 on August 28 to September 8.

Hannah, however, said the MSN would first examine the request before making any decision, especially when the safety of the national athletes is its priority.

"As the police are conducting an investigation into allegations involving the coach. we cannot interfere even though some athletes have requested that this coach continues to train them. This is a coach who has been with them since it's been a long time.

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"The athletes have requested (for the same coach to teach) because (they) will be competing in the Paralympic Games later in Paris, a few months from now because they do not want their preparation for the Paralympic Games to be interrupted," she said.

Hannah in the meantime confirmed that no new coach was included in the Paralympic Council Malaysia (PCM) to replace the coach.

A local media previously reported that PCM confirmed that a coach had been investigated for sexually harassing minor athletes.

According to the report, PCM president Datuk Seri Megat D. Shahriman Zaharudin said that the governing body had filed a police report after receiving an email regarding the matter from the Malaysian Para Swimming Association (MPSA) last week.

MSN, on the other hand, insisted that it had never received a report or complaint from any of the athletes regarding sexual misconduct by the coach before the latest complaint on Tuesday (Feb 27). - BERNAMA