Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has urged Malaysians not to be over sensitive over the "teaching them a thing or two" remarks attributed to Singapore's Olympic champion swimmer Joseph Schooling.
Khairy said that Malaysians needed to share the excitement and honour of Schooling being the sole Olympic gold medallist from Southeast Asia in swimming.
"Let's not dwell on this too much," he said, adding that it was important to remember that Schooling's mother was Malaysian and that he did not think the swimmer meant it in any negative manner when he uttered the remarks.
Pointing out that the biennial Games was a celebration, he expressed hope that the matter would be put to rest.
Khairy spoke to reporters after opening the KL2017 Main Press Centre and International Broadcast Centre (IBC) at the Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) here today.
The 22-year-old had said that his comments about going to "Malaysia's backyard" during the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games (KL2017) and teaching "them a thing or two" had been taken out of context, according to a Channel NewsAsia report.
"But I was actually talking about the younger kids going there, and teaching all the rookies a thing or two about the launchpad that we have in the SEA Games to bigger and better meets in the future," Schooling was quoted as saying.
The SEA Games officially runs from Aug 19 to Aug 30 with 404 events across 38 sports.