Goh Soon Huat

SEA Games badminton player Goh Soon Huat could land himself in hot water following an argument with a friend over a phone conversation

Goh Soon Huat is alleged to have broken Sea Games curfew at the Renaissance Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

Chef-de-mission Datuk Marina Chin is awaiting full reports from BAM on the matter.

"I cannot comment as I have yet to receive the reports and have not met with OCM secretary Datuk Low Beng Choo as I have been busy with a number of programmes," said Marina.

"I have heard about it (incident) but it is not fair for me to talk about it yet."

Marina warned the athletes to adhere to the rules to avoid disciplinary action which could even lead to them being expelled from the Sea Games contingent.

"Usually, we will let off first time offenders with a stern warning. However, disciplinary action will be taken if they repeatedly break the rules.

"The NSAs will propose to the contingent management any disciplinary action to be taken against the athletes, should it be necessary."

National athletes have started to check into the Renaissance Hotel since Friday. The Malaysian contingent have more than 700 athletes.

Malaysian athletes staying at the hotel are required to be in their rooms by 11.30pm at the latest.

Soon Huat, when asked about the incident, said yesterday: “I was only at the (hotel) lobby.”

The shuttler said he had just returned from the national athletes' camp at 10pm or 11pm on the night of the incident with roomate Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin.

"I saw that Iskandar was tired and already wanted to sleep so I decided to talk on the phone outside the room. I had bumped into (National badminton team manager) Mat Rashid Jahlil and told him that I just wanted to talk to my friend (on the phone) for a while before I slept.”

However, Soon Huat admitted that the phone chat with his friend turned heated as they argued over personal matters.

"I told my friend that we are not allowed to leave camp, so my friend agreed to come and take some things (at the hotel), listen to my explanation and settle the issue we had.

"My friend was not familiar with the hotel area, so I waited just outside the hotel near the lobby.

"I went back to my room after we finished our discussion at around 3am. I did not go far, I was just outside the hotel,” he said.

Coach Rashid said he is satisfied with the explanation given by Soon Huat but did give the latter a warning.

"I hope this does not happen again, this warning is not only for Soon Huat but also all our national players.”

Translated from Harian Metro

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