THE furore over national gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadiâ€™s attire at the Singapore SEA Games rages on with Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (pic) telling athletes they do not have to abide by any dress code drawn up by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim).
On Monday, Minister in the Prime Ministerâ€™s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom had said that sports attire would be reviewed.
Jamil, who is in charge of Islamic Affairs, said Jakim would review clothing guidelines for athletes to be more syariah-compliant.
Khairy said Jakimâ€™s guidelines â€œwas just a guideline and thereâ€™s no compulsion to itâ€.
â€œItâ€™s up to the athletes to follow the guidelines and thereâ€™s no compulsion to cover up… I hope this settles it.
â€œWe have to remember some sports attires are regulated by the sports federations … besides, the athletes only wear the attire during competitions, they donâ€™t wear it every day,â€ said Khairy yesterday.
He also slammed the critics as hypocrites and said the issue smacked of sexism.
Artistic gymnast Farah made the country proud by winning two gold medals, a silver and three bronzes in the biennial Games, but received flak from some for â€œexposing her bodyâ€.
â€œFarah is an adult and has been brought up well. She knows what sheâ€™s doing and old enough to decide for herself,â€ Khairy said.
â€œMale athletes donâ€™t get this kind of attention, body-builders wear much more revealing trunks.
â€œThe critics can look elsewhere … or, if they cannot contain themselves, we will have to ban them from entering stadiums.â€