Sports can foster unity, says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said sports is the best way to foster unity in a multiracial society and promote a healthy lifestyle at the same time.

The Prime Minister said through a healthy lifestyle practised by the people in the country, it is hoped Malaysian society would be able to reap its benefits in future.

“If we want to succeed, we must be healthy. Do we ever hear of successful people who are unhealthy? No…they must be healthy. As such we want to build a sporting culture in the country so that Malaysians love sports,” he said when launching the 2017 National Sports Day (NSD2017) at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, yesterday.

Najib also hoped the National Sports Day organised for the third year running would become a platform to cultivate a daily sporting culture among Malaysians.

“In the first year, I was informed 5.1 million participated in the National Sports Day. In the second year…7.6 million. The number should be even higher this year,” he said.

The Prime Minister said studies had shown that the obesity rate of Malaysians was among the highest in Asia due to their eating habits.

“We love roti canai, nasi lemak, teh tarik. We do not like sports. We must learn to love sports. Do not have too much fat in our bodies.

“I must also reduce body fat and become slim like Khairy Jamaluddin (Youth and Sports Minister) but it will take time,” he said.

The National Sports Day, which is celebrated annually on the second Saturday of October, has received encouraging and enthusiastic response throughout the country.

The third edition held yesterday involved 3,786 events by state Youth and Sports Departments, 421 events by schools, 110 events by ministries, 100 events by associations, 37 events by institutions, 26 by private sector and 25 events held overseas.

NSD2017 was organised on a large scale at the compound of the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil with 30 events while the cycling and running events attracted 15,000 participants. — Bernama

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