Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: Unfortunately, sometimes sports and politics do mix


YOURSAY | ‘The South African athletes during the apartheid era were equally innocent.’

Israel wants change in venue after its swimmers banned from M’sia

Odysseus: Politics should leave sports aside. Sports has the power to unite people of all nations.

Since Malaysia has put in the bid to host this event when it is widely known Israel is a member country, let's carry on as a gracious host by allowing participants from all nations to come and compete.

We want to be a host, so let's be a great host to all nations.

RM2.6 Billion Turkey Haram: Why ban the young swimmers from participating in the meet? They are innocent victims. Leave politics aside.

TCM: The Middle East story is too complicated, and the history of enmity between the opposing parties too long.

That is why anyone who wants to argue for one side will always find the logic to do so, but regardless of history, the question is how to move on despite the current political situation.

However, if we say sports and politics should not mix, we are too idealistic. Politics will always be a factor.

The precedent here is clear. The athletes can participate under the Olympic banner or federation flag.

They get a chance to compete. The country’s policies are adhered to. Not everything is rosy, but at least a compromise is reached.

Many countries have been banned before even from the Olympics: South Africa, Germany, Japan, Austria, Zimbabwe, Kuwait, Russia, Afghanistan.

The South African athletes during the apartheid era were equally innocent. Likewise, the German athletes in the 1940s.

The point is that the country as a majority will need to make a stand to try to help make a change for the better.

At the very least, it is a stand to say we are not satisfied with the situation in the Middle East and that the parties involved should work harder to fix it.

Bright Morning Star: Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah was quoted as saying, "It is about fighting on behalf of the oppressed."

Saifuddin, how about fighting for the oppressed minorities in your own backyard first?

There is a grand show of concern for the plight of the Palestinians, but yet political will is lacking to resolve discrimination, extremism and oppression in the name of race and religion in Malaysia.

Are Malaysians in the new era of Pakatan Harapan rule, or are we back to the old “ketuanan” racist rule?

Mo Saladin: Malaysia's unwavering stance is needed to show the world that the velvet glove cannot be applied to Israel, no matter how appealing the maxim that sports and politics should not mix.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, this serves to show the sporting world the extent of Israeli human rights abuses against the Palestinians, so much so that it has crippled the functioning of Palestinian sporting institutions and the growth of future Palestinian athletes, both nationally and internationally.

Anonymous_3f4b: For this shameful and disgraceful stance, Malaysia must be denied the right to host all international sporting events, including badminton, golf, bowling, cycling, squash, sepak raga, diving, et cetera. Let the country be out in the cold and ostracised from all sporting events.

By the way, what moral right does Malaysia have to preach to the world about humanitarian values and oppression when they cannot even ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd) and practise apartheid-like discriminatory policies in their own country against their own minority races?

Awang Top: Indeed, the political and religious interference will cost goodwill among sportsmen and sportswomen.

Banning sportsmen and sportswomen from the event only gives the country a bad image.

Snowcrash: This is a perfectly valid stance for Malaysia to take.

For almost 30 years, South Africa was banned from the games, due to its explicit policy of apartheid.

It’s the view of the Malaysian government, as well as many others, that what Israel does to its Arab citizens, and to the Palestinian territories, is apartheid in all but name.

Ericlcc: If a country wants to host a world-class sports event, then it should not discriminate. The country abdicates the right to host the event if it does.

The international governing body should seriously reprimand the host.

Anonymous 2461691488937729: This is unfortunate for the spirit of sportsmanship. But Malaysia should always openly declare its stance before it accepts the offer to host any international event.

Ubi-Wan Keledek: The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) should apologise for failing to require any country hosting sporting events to accept all participants unconditionally.

Hopeful123: I remember Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that he wants to maintain friendships with all countries when he became the prime minister after May 9 last year. Did he forget to mention that Israel is our enemy?

Let Israel and the Middle East solve their own problems. Over here, we can't even solve the Middle Rocks and Pulau Kukup problems.

Don't mix sports and politics like how we mix religion and politics. Sports is an excellent avenue to mend relationships, what more when we are talking about sports involving disabled persons.

Either Malaysia must open its eyes and look at reality, or the IPC must change the venue to accept everyone.

The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. Over the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.

These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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