Malaysian journalists on Monday accused their Singaporean counterparts of jeering teenage netball players and slammed the SEA Games hosts for a lack of “decorum”.
The Malay Mail rounded on Singaporean journalists after Sunday’s hotly contested netball final, which the home side won 46-43 against neighbours and fierce rivals Malaysia.
Simmering tensions between the countries often bubble into anger in the heat of sporting occasions, but usually it is football rather than netball which raises temperatures.
The head of the Sportswriters Association of Malaysia said he was “shocked” after hearing that Singaporean journalists yelled “Go home to your village!” in Malay during the final.
“I am shocked by the behaviour of the Singaporean journalists at the press box,” said SAM president Ahmad Khawari Isa, according to the Malay Mail.
“It created a negative impression on the professionalism of journalists as a whole.”
The newspaper ran the story with a graphic saying “Shame on you” and commented that Singapore was a “nation known to be a global financial centre and not for etiquette and a fine sense of decorum”.
Emotions ran high in Sunday’s final, where Singapore won their first ever Southeast Asian (SEA) Games netball gold medal and avenged a narrow loss to Malaysia 14 years ago.
Aside from netball, football-related flashpoints between Singapore and Malaysia are legion.
At the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup football, massed ranks of Malaysian fans chanted “Singapore are dogs!” and last month, fans of Terengganu rioted after losing a Malaysia FA Cup semi-final to Singapore’s Lions XII.
The 28th SEA Games is being held on the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence, after it was expelled from the federation of Malay states in 1965. – Agence France-Presse