Tuesday August 7, 2012
DAP’s Manoharan under fire over disparaging tweets about Chong Wei
By RAHIMY RAHIM
PETALING JAYA: Kota Alam Shah's DAP assemblyman M. Manoharan has come under fire for making disparaging comments about Datuk Lee Chong Wei's defeat to China's Lin Dan in the Olympic badminton men's singles final.
Among other things, Manoharan tweeted: “Malaysia will win its first gold medal in Olympics after Pakatan takes over Putrajaya.”
“If Chong Wei played better than Lin Dan, why didn't he win? We must be firm with our players so that we can see a gold one day.
“Whoever wins a gold medal with Olympics, we must congratulate them.
“Lin Dan is so stylish. So modern. Doesn't look like a China man. But from China. Tattoo all over.
“LIN DAN wins. He played better than Lee Chong AWAY.”
Netizens set up a Facebook page called “We Want Manoharan Malayalam to apologise to Lee Chong Wei”, which received 3,497 “likes” by 9pm yesterday.
Even those who support Pakatan Rakyat criticised his tweets, describing them as insensitive and tasteless.
Manoharan, however, denied any intent to insult the national player.
“My intention was for the betterment of our sports and to improve our chances to win in the next Olympics,” he said, stressing that it was his personal opinion and not Pakatan's stand.
Last year, the DAP politician stirred similar controversy when he suggested modifying the Jalur Gemilang, claiming its design did not reflect Malaysia.
DAP suspended his membership for six months from Sept 23 but lifted the punishment after a month.
Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Razali Ibrahim said the comments showed the level of thinking of Pakatan leaders who were only keen on gaining political mileage.
“How can someone be so insensitive when the nation is grieving after losing the crucial match? Sports should be above politics. I feel that Chong Wei has contributed more to Malaysia compared to many of us,” he said.
MCA vice-president Gan Ping Sieu regretted that there were politicians who liked engaging in controversies to maintain their relevance.
“His comment is nothing new, he made remarks about the national flag last year and I believe he enjoys it. The statement is despicable by any standards. Let the people evaluate Pakatan's choices of wakil rakyat,” he said.
Selangor MCA secretary Wong Koon Mun said winning medals at the Olympics or any world championships took many years of diligence, discipline and commitment and was not about which political coalition was in power.
MIC Youth chief T. Mohan said Manoharan's actions showed his lack of thought on Chong Wei's years of sacrifice and training.
“As a Malaysian, he should have shown his patriotism and support. There is nothing wrong in applauding a medal winner, even if he is not a Malaysian. But Manoharan belittled Chong Wei with his tweets. Sport is not an avenue for cheap publicity or scoring political points.”
Umno Youth Community Com-plaints Bureau chairman Datuk Mohd Khairun Aseh also said Manoharan should apologise for his remarks.
Pakatan leaders disagree with Manoharan