KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has slammed controversial academician Ridhuan Tee Abdullah for his “wrong and irresponsible” comments on Malaysian Olympic medal winners.
Khairy, who is also Umno Youth chief, said Tee was insulting Malaysian athletes for using a term like “ultra kiasu” for them in his column in a Malay daily Monday.
“It is an insult to the athletes. I take that his statement is highly inaccurate. I am also disappointed and angry.
“He does not know the athletes as how I do and they are not as what he claims them to be.
“It is better that he does not make such statements,” Khairy told reporters at the Bandar Tun Razak Umno division meeting.
Tee came under fire for saying Malaysian Olympic medal winners are unpatriotic and only competing in sports for monetary rewards and a means to gain popularity.
He said that sports had become a business and that patriotism is only for show.
Tee also wrote that “ultra kiasu” athletes are driven towards individualistic sports, rather than sports which require teamwork.
Rio Olympics 2016 chef de mission Tan Sri Mohd Al-Amin Abdul Majid said Tee was being unfair to the athletes.
“They have shed blood and tears for the country,” he said.