It was supposed to be a time for celebrations as Malaysian gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi made the nation proud by snagging a gold medal at the 28th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Singapore.
Buletin TV3 took to their official Facebook page to congratulate the 21-year-old Muslim gymnast for winning the gold medal, but the post became the subject of debate all for the wrong reasons instead.
As you may have guessed it, the post was widely discussed due to her outfit that was deemed “inappropriate” for a certain Muslim community.
Islam requires both Muslim men and women to wear clothes that will not reveal the curves and shape of her body, in protection of their honour and intergrity. However, criticisms are often targeted against women.
In this case, the gymnast became the subject of attention as several Facebook users criticised her for not covering up her “aurat” and showing off “the shape of her vagina” in leotard.
Some of the comments that criticised Farah’s outfit are as follows (via Poyo Melayu):
However, there were also other Muslim Facebook users who defended Farah and slammed the critics:
One Facebook user named Dina Nida wrote:
So disgusting reading these religious comments from the so-called future members of heaven… just ignore them… Congratulations Farah Ann, it’s not easy to get a gold medal for Malaysia.ADVERTISEMENT
A number of Malaysians also took to Twitter to comment on the situation, asking people to acknowledge Farah’s talent instead of getting heated over her gymnastic attire:
Meleis get so heated over Farah Ann in leotards when she just won our country a GOLD MEDAL. And all you focus on is her camel toe?
— nalisa alia amin (@nalisaaa) June 12, 2015
People, can you please acknowledge how talented and awesome Farah Ann is. She's like one of the best gymnasts I've seen so far. I'm amazed.
— Phoebe Shafinaz (@PhoebeShafinaz) June 12, 2015
Hey, the best way to confront the Farah Ann situation is to flood social media with congratulatory messages for her.
— Kapten Kahan (@zarakahan) June 12, 2015
Tan Keng Liang, who is currently the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Youth Chief, also went on Twitter to address the critics.
He questioned them on what a gymnast like Farah Ann should’ve worn instead:
Having impressed the judges with her style and movements, Farah emerged as the judge’s favourite and won a bronze medal in the balance beam event. She presented a great display during the floor exercise routine and collected 13.733 points to grab the ultimate win.
As at time of writing, Farah has not commented on the attacks that were targeted towards her as of yet.
UPDATE (14th June, 11am):
Malaysia’s Minister of Youth & Sports Khairy Jamaluddin has taken to Twitter to slam the negative comments on Farah and her outfit, and defended the athlete for having made the country proud with her SEA Games 2015 win. “In her deeds only the Almighty judges her. Not you. Leave our athletes alone,” he wrote.
In case you missed it, here:
In gymnastics Farah wowed the judges and brought home gold. In her deeds only the Almighty judges her. Not you. Leave our athletes alone.
— Khairy Jamaluddin (@Khairykj) June 12, 2015
Meanwhile, Farah herself also hit back at the netizens who criticised and condemned her “revealing” attire. All at the same time, she thanked her fans for their unwavering support.
Empty cans make the most noise
— Farah Ann Abdul Hadi (@farahannhadi) June 12, 2015
Thank you so much for all the support. I appreciate it so much. Love you all ??
— Farah Ann Abdul Hadi (@farahannhadi) June 13, 2015
We’re with you all the way, Farah! You go 🙂