Stop unfair criticism toward Pandelela Rinong, NGO founder tells MAS sec-gen

Alim GA Mideh (file pic)

KUCHING, Feb 21: Founder of Bulang Birieh Dayak founder Alim GA Mideh states that the Malaysian Aquatics (MAS) secretary-general Andy Low should stop making unfair criticisms toward Datuk Pandelela Rinong Pamg who had failed to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

He emphasised that MAS should pinpoint the source that led to the national athletes’ poor performance in Doha earlier in February this year and argued that accusing others is not a solution, as it will negatively influence the athletes’ fortitude.

Following the Malaysian divers’ failure to qualify for the Paris Olympics in the recent Doha World Aquatics Championships and Pandelela’s comment about issues related to the athletes’ training which affected their performance, Low was reported as saying people were giving excuses for their failure and that they were unprofessional but still wanted to draw salaries.

“She deserves to be accorded the recognition and status for her immense contribution to the MAS. Compared to Pandelela, Andy is nothing,” Alim said, adding that Low should focus on producing more representatives for the country rather than demoralising the athletes.

On Feb 14, Minister for Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Sarawak Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah condemned Low’s remarks on Pandelela as inappropriate.

Pandelela made her debut on the international stage in 2007 at the Asian Junior Aquatics Championships where she won four gold medals. She has been a national diver for almost seventeen years, earning many medals during this period including an Olympic silver medal, and an Olympic bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Olympics respectively.

She is also the first Malaysian female athlete to win an Olympic medal. — DayakDaily