Media reports on Agilan: Why double standards ? – Visithra Manikam

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Last year, August when our Malaysian Badminton mixed players Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon lost in the finals and clinched silver, Kosmo and Berita Harian came under fire for its headlines –

Kosmo! – “Peng Soon-Liu Ying disappoint millions of Malaysians”

Berita Harian, – “Mixed doubles only manage a silver”.

Selangor Speaker Hannah Yeoh questioned the papers cynicism and necessity to diminish the valiant efforts of our country’s athletes. She wasn’t alone in her criticism. Most Malaysians were upset with how the papers painted negative image of Olympics Silver medallists.

Few days ago, 21 years old, Agilan Thani or better known as “The Alligator,” was set to challenge ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren for the championship title. Askren has an undefeated record and eight years of supremacy in his weight class.

Thani is a relatively newcomer to the game. The Malaysian joined ONE Championship in 2015 as a 1-0 welterweight and went on to win six consecutive stoppage wins in the promotion, which earned him an unexpected shot at challenging Askren for the title. A feat yet to be achieved by any other MMA Malaysian athlete.

Agilan unfortunately suffered his FIRST career defeat and first shot to the title to Askren.

While we should be proud that the boy from Sentul who worked at the gym, just to train has taken us further than any other Malaysian, The Star writes a very interesting headline as well as Facebook post – Agilan no match for Champ Askren (print), Agilan tapped out 2 minutes and 22 seconds into the match (fb).

Now the Indian community became outraged. However interestingly most Malaysians and Psuedo Indians weren’t. Commendably the young Agilan has reached out to try and appease his supporters.

The question is why isn’t there a similar outrage as there was for the Badminton Mixed Doubles team?

Instead most Malaysians and Psuedo Indians are questioning why Indians are getting upset with The Star’s headlines as they were only reporting the truth.

If that was so – then why was Berita Harian and Kosmo criticised? They too only reported the truth.

Interestingly then in August, The Star ran stories on those criticised headlines. (links in comments)

So what is the difference now?

Are we here only to celebrate winners and Olympians? What happened to the 1 Malaysia or Malaysia Boleh spirit? Or is that only reserved for some sports and athletes?

Anyway congratulations Agilan – I am not a fan of MMA, but I will support any athlete who strives to push us to the global arena. You have done nothing but make us proud. Hope to see you achieve that title one day.

*This is the personal opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Kuala Lumpur Post.