KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim apologised to badminton legend Datuk Lee Chong Wei today after the latter was criticised for joining a programme to assist poor students in the Opposition constituency.
In a heartfelt post on Facebook, former deputy minister of youth and sports Sim said he felt very sad after hearing that Lee has been called rude for supporting his campaign to provide free laptops and electronic devices for the children at Bukit Mertajam.
“They (the haters) even called for his (Lee) ‘Datuk’ title to be revoked allegedly for supporting DAP.
“If you really support DAP, there is nothing wrong. But the problem is, (Lee) Chong Wei's actions are not because of politics but because he wants to help our children,” he said today.
The programmes, called “Asal Cek Mau Pi Sekolah” (Why do you want to go to school) aims to assist students from B40 families by allowing them to print out their homework for free, giving them free laptops or tablet computers as well as SIM cards for Internet connectivity.
Lee, who is from Bukit Mertajam, sponsored 50 Samsung A8 tablets for children from B40 families.
After photos of Lee handing over the items were published, pro-establishment groups denounced him for helping Opposition and DAP constituents.
The criticism included posters made under the name of “Team Mujahid Cyber” that called for him to be stripped of his federal award.
Today, Sim said the aid programme was non-partisan and not attached with conditions such as to support his DAP party.
“We did not put political party logo when we give laptops/tablets.
“I did not write the ‘vote DAP’, I did not tell them to support Pakatan Harapan.
“Laptops only have the manufacturer’s logo, tablets only have the brand stamp. Just as I buy and get from the seller, so do I leave it to our children,” he said, providing images of the computers given out.
Sim also hoped that the criticism would not discourage Lee from assisting in future programmes.
“I am a politician, it’s okay for me to be attacked, I’ll fight, but I am sad Lee Chong Wei, our hero has to be attacked just for doing good.
“If this is their attitude, who else dares to do charity work?
“I really apologise to Chong Wei,” he said.