Syed Saddiq to query Terengganu’s ‘shariah-compliant’ sports attire rule
Published:  Sep 3, 2019 9:32 PM
Updated: 1:32 PM

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (photo, above) pledged to look into Terengganu’s move to draft a shariah-compliant code of conduct for athletes.

He told reporters in a WhatsApp group today, when asked, that he would speak to Terengganu Youth Development, Sports and Non-Government Development Committee chairperson Wan Sukairi Wan Abdullah personally on the matter.

“I’ve spoken to him before when there was news about this, and he gave me his commitment that he would ‘advise’ not ‘coerce/force’.

“My stance on this is clear. Athletes are our national heroes and heroines, regardless of what they wear. They sacrifice so much for Malaysia,” he said today.

He was asked to respond to a Bernama report earlier today, which quoted Wan Sukairi saying that the PAS-led state government is drafting a shariah-compliant code of conduct for athletes, and the state is inviting fashion designers to contribute ideas for suitable sports attire.

The guidelines would not only cover sportswear but also how athletes should socialise and conduct themselves during events.

“When we have finally got the right shariah-compliant attire, we will enforce the guidelines,” he was quoted as saying.

Wan Sukairi (photo) said the state government was forced to withdraw from rhythmic gymnastics and women’s gymnastics events as it required athletes to expose their bodies.

“There is no compromise for these sports (rhythmic gymnastics and women’s gymnastics) as they display indecent movements and unless the audience comprises only women, then maybe we will allow them.

“Even then, it would still be against the respective sports’ governing body regulations,” he said.

Wan Sukairi added that the state government is currently taking in feedback on the new code of conduct from sports associations, academics, and the state mufti.

Last year, Wan Sukairi reportedly said the Terengganu government would begin implementing Syariah-compliant clothing for state athletes from this year but Syed Saddiq opposed the move.

When national gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi came under criticism for her outfit in 2015, then youth and sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin had likewise defended athlete’s right to wear the outfit of their choice as long as it is approved by the sport’s governing body.

He also quipped, “(There) should also have guidelines for gatal men to lower their gaze when they can't contain themselves watching sports”.

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