Wed, May 03, 2017 - Page 5 News List

Girl barred from chess match for ‘seductive’ dress

AFP, KUALA LUMPUR

A 12-year-old girl was barred from a Malaysian chess tournament over her “seductive” dress, her coach has said, igniting public outrage against the organizers of the competition.

The Malaysian Chess Federation yesterday said it would investigate and denied that religious sensitivities had prompted the decision to exclude the young player, as it seeks to curb the public backlash.

In a widely shared Facebook post, trainer Kaushal Khandhar said his pupil felt “harassed and humiliated” after being forced to withdraw in the middle of the National Scholastic Chess Championship on April 14. The girl had been told her knee-length dress was “seductive and a temptation from a certain angle far, far away,” he said in the post on Thursday last week, demanding an apology from the organizers.

His remarks sparked a flurry of furious responses on social media, with commenters expressing indignation at the incident and questioning how organizers could have deemed the clothing inappropriate.

“I am shocked and disturbed that her dress is a problem,” said Sieh Kok Chi, former secretary-general of the Olympic Council of Malaysia. “She is just 12 years old. No one has the right to impose self-made rules. The chess officials should resign.”

Federation executive secretary Nik Hishamuddin Nik Mustapa said that the dress code had been implemented because the competition was played in a public school, which has a stricter dress code.

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