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Let's make impartiality a national crusade

  • Perhaps we should make this a national campaign to uproot the prejudices deeply planted in our hearts. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

By KUIK CHENG KANG
Sin Chew Daily

Curses have been hurled around in the cyberspace following the authorities' decision not to renew the contract of national diving coach Yang Zhuliang.

People are tossing ridicules at the government for abandoning our talented people in favor of Bangladeshi workers, while others are making harsh, race-oriented criticisms.

The fact that the news was put on Sin Chew Daily's front cover drew the ire of some Malaysians who slammed us for supporting a Chinese rather than trusting our own government in a way to hint that we were trying to ethnicize this whole thing

We can easily see from this incident that Malaysians, from people in the street to senior government officials and cabinet ministers, continue to look at things from their biased racial perspectives.

This is why we at Sin Chew Daily have decided to introduce a new column "We" in 2018.

As a privately run media company, Sin Chew Daily has longed to do its bit to promote greater harmony among Malaysians with the hope our readers will achieve reconciliation and learn to appreciate one another after reading our reports.

To be honest, we all bear the same responsibility of bringing about greater engagement instead of skepticism as we strive to earn mutual trust through our friendship.

On the matter of diving coach, youth and sports ministry has failed to handle the issue transparently, causing this matter to take an ugly turn and creating more skepticism.

We are living in the age of mobile Internet. If the ministry had taken the initiative to talk to Yang prior to the dismissal, it would have averted a powerful backlash from the coach.

This seems to be a common weakness among our many government departments where things are run in grossly outdated fashion.

In the post-truth era, any instance of intransparency cold potentially spawn rumors in a split second, and people will generally opt to disbelieve the truth that is subsequently revealed.

The government can no longer arrogantly criticized the media for cooking up issues. If they knew that a certain issue could be fried up, they should have laid out the truth before the media in a bid to minimize the possible damage.

We didn't put Yang on our cover just because he is a Chinese. We did so because we wanted the diving sport to move further from here, as Malaysians have very high expectations from our national athletes after they have clinched exceptional results in Rio Olympics, Asian Games and SEA Games.

Unfortunately the recent dismissal of the coach has sparked concerns that our national teams could be brought down by impertinent personnel issues.

If we were to choose our cover headlines from the racial perspectives, we would have put the dismissal of then national football team coach Ong Kim Swee on our front page. But we didn't.

Moreover, Yang Zhuliang is not a Chinese national as he has become an Australian citizen.

All that we hope is that Malaysia can become a truly powerful sporting nation whereby all our athletes are highly motivated to do their utmost for the nation in various sporting events.

In view of this, the relevant authorities must handle the personnel issues at our teams appropriately so as not to dampen the morale of our athletes.

BAM announced in June to bring back Misbun Sidek as the men's singles head coach who only needs to report to BAM president Norza Zakaria anot not Morten Frost Hansen. This has eventually caused the technical director to leave in frustration.

Any discord among athletes and coaches is purely personnel issue that must be dealt with instantly and appropriately. Our national teams can only look forward to a better tomorrow if an amiable atmosphere prevails and personnel conflicts are minimized.

We can never become a sporting nation without harmony and goodwill among our athletes and coaches.

Perhaps we should make this a national campaign to uproot the prejudices deeply planted in our hearts.

 

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