Malaysia's Minister for Youth and Sports says the federal government will absorb the young athletes who are being discriminated against by Terengganu's decision.
SINGAPORE: Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman from Malaysia's Minister of Youth and Sports
He also pledged that the ministry will intervene and "take over control" of the Terengganu Sports Council to ensure that the future of gymnasts is safeguarded.
"I will never tolerate this," said the minister on his Twitter account Saturday (Nov 9) afternoon. "If true, (the ministry) will take over control of (Terengganu Sports Council) and absorb their young aspiring athletes who (have been) discriminated (against)."
"I personally will meet up with the athletes affected to ensure that their future in gymnastics will not be compromised."
The secretary-general of the Terengganu Gymnastics Association as saying that the state would scale back on the recruitment of women gymnasts.
Mr. Ahmad Akramin had also said that Terengganu would not field women's gymnasts in next year's national Sukma Games.
READ: Dreams dashed for Terengganu's aspiring female gymnasts
Mr Ahmad said that the move was in line with the Terengganu state government’s guidelines on sports, which included withdrawing women from competing in all forms of gymnastics as athletes would “display indecent movements exp that would expose their bodies.
Responding to media queries, Mr Syed Saddiq issued a statement on Saturday evening saying he would "call for a meeting immediately" to resolve the issue.
He also said the Terengganu government had been inconsistent in its stance, having informed him that he would allow women gymnasts to participate in the 2020 Sukma Games.
Told They told me that they’ll allow for the gymnasts to participate in Sukma, that they will be taken care of. At the same time, (they are) insisting something else when asked by the media. Uncertainty kills talents, ”said Mr Syed Saddiq.
The Terengganu state government, led by Islamic party Party Islam Se-Malaysia, drafted the sporting guidelines based on syariah compliance. Besides attire, the guidelines also address points like coaching, physiotherapy and other areas of sports.
Terengganu's decision to implement the guidelines has drawn flak from the country’s sporting fraternity.
National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Ahmad Shapawi Ismail was quoted in September as saying that the Terengganu state government's concerns could potentially affect the future of potential women athletes who could make the country proud.
Mr Syed Saddiq had said that the athletes are the country's "heroes and heroines, regardless of what they wear".