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Malaysian Olympic Diver Pandelela Rinong Voices Out Against Rape Jokes From Past Experience

Credit: mStar

During a recent talk show "Rumah No. 107", actor Fauzi Nawawi apologised after he said he enjoyed filming a rape scene for the film "Anak Halal" which was eventually cut from the film's final edit. His comment didn't sit well with netizens, even our national diver Datuk Pandelela Rinong voiced out against those who joke about sexual violence and rape.

The Olympic silver medalist recalled a past experience when she was training under a former coach for 7 years who enjoys making sexually inappropriate jokes while having authorities protect him. Sadly, when she spoke up about it, she got bullied.

“In the past, I too had a coach who loved to make lewd jokes and I always either kept quiet or fake laughed. That one time I decided to speak up against him, instead I was bullied in return. Seven years later he was accused of rape. The saddest part about those seven years was every year he would do something bad. However us as athletes couldn’t do anything because he was backed up by our own head coach. Moral of the story, we need a good leader who can right what’s wrong instead of turning a blind eye to evil, and those abused must speak up please! Small voices still matter if we are united,” she tweeted.

Replying to her tweet, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin who was formerly the sports minister said he received criticism from sports journalists for his actions in disbanding the national diving setup. “Thanks for speaking out, Lela. There are still sports journalists who criticise the decision that we made to shake up Malaysian diving in light of these allegations a few years ago. I would make the same decision every single time,” Khairy said.


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