BANGI, Sept 17 — Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today called on the sports fraternity to use the ongoing 20th Malaysia Games (Sukma) as the platform to prove the prowess of the country’s athletes and become world beaters.
The prime minister said the athletes also need to apply the same spirit championed by national athletes that saw them achieve glory on the global stage.
“The Hanoi SEA Games national contingent in May surpassed the medal target with a haul of 39 gold, 45 silver and 90 bronze, followed by another proud showing by the Malaysian contingent at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England with seven gold medals, eight silver and eight bronze in July.
“To top it off, we now have world champions in badminton as well. (Doubles pair) Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik’s success (in the World Championships) proves that Keluarga Malaysia (the Malaysian Family) have conquered the world stage.”
The prime minister said this when officiating at the opening ceremony of the 20th Sukma held at Dewan Canselor Tun Abdul Razak, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, here tonight.
Ismail Sabri, however, reminded the Malaysian sports fraternity not to get complacent with their success as many more obstacles need to be overcome in their pursuit of more glory.
“Rise, members of the sports fraternity! Use this Malaysia Games stage as the arena to prove your prowess, so that the best can go on to take up the country’s challenges, with the Sea Games in Cambodia next year as the first move towards achieving excellence at the highest level.
“Success stories like these must continue, as next year the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China awaits as the perfect platform in pursuit of Malaysia’s first Olympics gold medal in Paris in 2024,” Ismail Sabri said.
The prime minister also gave the government’s assurance to boost the country’s sporting arena through various programmes and allocations, and urged athletes to fully focus on their respective sports in the bid for national glory.
“We have given solid backing for the Podium Programme to help realise the Olympics gold medal dream, with allocations totaling RM240 million under the 12th Malaysia Plan” he said.
Ismail Sabri also said that the government was also supportive of efforts to organise sporting events and tournaments for national athletes to prove their mettle on higher-level competitive platforms
“That is the government’s commitment to the national sports arena and I call on all parties, starting with the young athletes competing in this Malaysian Games, to take advantage of every opportunity that awaits, for the sake of national sports development and progress,” he said.
Ismail Sabri also expressed his appreciation to all state governments and sports associations for their efforts to foster unity through sportsmanship.
“Put aside our differences, whatever they may be, unite and cement our shared success as the bastion of Keluarga Malaysia,” he added.
The 20th Sukma Games, from Sept 16-24, has 15 contingents, including Brunei, battling it out in 426 events.