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Sarawak aims to be perfect host in 2016

by Matthew T. Umpang, reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on December 17, 2012, Monday

STRONG PARENTAL SUPPORT: Fatimah poses with Paralympiad athlete Mohd Khairul Mood and his family who came all the way from Pendam, Sadong Jaya to greet him at Kuching International Airport upon his arrival from Kuala Lumpur late Sunday night.

KUCHING: Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah revealed that Sarawak will do its best to prepare for the Malaysian Paralympiad Games when the state hosts the biennial games in 2016.

Fatimah, who is also Sarawak contingent chef-de-mission for the recently concluded 16th Malaysian Paralympiad Games hosted by Pahang, commented that there a few factors in which the state needs to seriously look into before Sarawak is finally ready to act as the perfect host.

 ‘Logistic, one thing we need to seriously look into’

“Logistic is one thing that we need to seriously look into. We must find the best way to assist in the paralympiad’s mobility, especially those who are wheelchair-bound.

It is a big challenge for us as we must make and upgrade our sports and public facilities to be disabled-friendly,” she said in an exclusive interview with The Borneo Post.

One of Fatimah’s suggestions was that the state might look into deploying buses with disabled-friendly apparatus that can help the paralympiads move around easily while they are here during the games.

She also revealed that accommodations such as hotels here will have to provide the right infrastructure for people with special needs.

These hotels must be responsible if they were to get themselves involved during the games and not provide a one-off lip-service only.

“We must make sure that their accommodations are well taken care. This is because like all athletes, they need adequate rest if they were to compete before and after competing in their respective events,” said Fatimah.

According to Fatimah, another measure which the state will have a look into is to observe how Perlis will act as host when they host the games in 2014.

“We saw how Pahang did it and I think they did a good job. Let’s see how Perlis act as host of the games and we hope to learn from their experience too,” she commented. Sarawak has won the Malaysian Paralympiad games for unprecedented 10-times.

The state’s latest success in the games came last week when they won the 16th edition of the games which was held in Kuantan, Pahang.

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