PBK chief wants M’sian Aquatics sec-gen to resign following remarks on Pandelela Rinong

Voon Lee Shan

KUCHING, Feb 16: Malaysian Aquatics (MAS) secretary-general Andy Low has been called to resign over his recent remarks on national diving athlete Datuk Pandelela Rinong Pamg’s failure to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In making the call, Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan said Low, who claimed that Pandelela was only giving an excuse to cover up her failure in the recent World Aquatics Championships in Doha, has hurt the feelings of Sarawakians.

“He (Low) has, by his words, shown very little respect to Pandelela and the aquatic team who represented the country.

“Being an official, Low should give words of encouragement, understand the problems, and see the needs of the aquatic team,” Voon said in a statement today.

Voon further said Low should acknowledge the contribution of Pandelela in sports, adding that athletes are human and cannot peak and be consistent in their performances at all times.

“We could see from the plasters on her body that Pandelela injured herself in training and competition for the sake of the sport and country.

“No sportsman wants to fail in a competition, and all want to win, and Pandelela is not an exception. We should be very proud of Pandelela’s achievements in the sport.

“Sports officials should not come with words of condemnation or discouragement levelled at sportsmen as words of condemnation and discouragement could easily discourage them from excelling,” he elaborated.

In a Facebook post on Feb 12, Pandelela apologised to Malaysians for her failure to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics despite her best efforts at the Doha World Aquatics Championship.

According to various media reports, Pandelela, when met by reporters upon the diving squad’s return from Doha at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on the same day, claimed that there was an interference that affected the performance of senior and junior divers.

In response, Low was quoted as suggesting that Pandelela’s remarks were merely an attempt to justify the team’s failure in Doha. — DayakDaily