SINGAPORE – Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the Ministry cannot decide or force athletes to wear a specific dress code, especially Muslim athletes.
Khairy who welcomed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom’s call to set a guideline for Muslim athletes on the type of attire to wear during competitions said the Ministry however, cannot interfere in the requirement of their international governing bodies.
“The Ministry cannot stop an athlete from deciding what to wear but we will provide them a guideline. It is up to the athletes to decide what they have to wear or want to wear as long as it did not contradict with the guidelines of the competition or their governing body,” he told reporters, here yesterday.
Gold medal winning gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi receive flak for wearing standard approved leotards in her winning routine.
The issue became ‘hot’ in the social media while a private TV station had also highlighted the attire Farah was wearing during the competition.
Some had claimed that such attire was inappropriate for Muslims.
Khairy said in the case of Farah Ann, the Ministry cannot force the gymnast to choose the attire but rather the gymnast herself would have the freedom to choose what she wanted to wear as long it did not contradict with the requirement by the Federation International Gymnastics.
“It is not everyday that athletes wear such attire… because they only wear such attire in competitions,” he said.
The gymnast recently came under fire from netizens who criticised her competition attire during the SEA Games in Singapore although she won a gold medal.