PETALING JAYA: Two-time Olympic medallist Datuk Pandelela Rinong has been praised for speaking out against a national diving coach for making “lewd jokes”.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said athletes’ safety from physical and mental abuse takes priority over winning medals “all day, every day”.

The former youth and sports minister said he did right to “shake up Malaysian diving in light of these allegations” a few years ago.

Pandelela’s tweet came after a public uproar over a rape joke made by a local actor on TV.

“I used to have a coach who liked to make lewd jokes. I kept quiet or I might muster a fake laugh (when the jokes were made) because I was scared of him.

“There was one time I couldn’t stand it anymore and I chastised him, but I got bullied after that. Seven years later, he committed rape,” Pandelela said in her Tweet this morning.