Kuala Lumpur – Rape jokes are not funny and those abused must speak up.
That was the strong message sent by national diving queen, Datuk Pandelela Rinong following a viral issue on social media, which saw a local actor make light of a rape scene in his previous film in a recent television show.
Citing a previous issue engulfing the national diving camp before, the 28-year-old diver claimed that the former coach often told ‘dirty jokes’ before the individual went on to rape one of the national divers some years back.
“I used to have a coach who liked to make obscene jokes, I kept quiet and didn’t even fake a laugh because I was afraid of him. Once I couldn’t stand it and reprimanded him, but I got bullied back.
“But the saddest thing was that in the years (he was there) he caused problems every year. But we athletes couldn’t do anything, because his big backup was our own head coach,” she said in a tweet thread today.
However, the Sarawakian was grateful to see that the divers were being protected by their sport association after the issue broke out previously.
“Moral of the story, we need a good leader who can right what’s wrong instead of turning a blind eye to evil, and those abused must speak up please! Small voices still matter if we are united,” she added.
Pandelela’s tweet went viral after it was retweeted over 10,000 times and received more than 11,000 likes, at the time of writing.
Echoing a similar view, Youth and Sports Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, stressed out that rape jokes should not be tolerated and was indeed unacceptable in any setting.
“Rape is no joke. The safety of our athletes is paramount,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, in his reply to Pandelela’s tweet, commended the two-time Olympic medallist’s bold move to speak out on this disturbing issue.
Khairy, who is also a former Youth and Sports Minister, pointed out that athletes’ safety from physical or mental abuse far outweigh winning medals any day. — Bernama