Monday, May 23

Sports play vital role in nation-building – PM


KUALA LUMPUR: Sports play an important role in nation-building through making friends out of strangers and building links between the different races, cultures and religions that shape a vibrant, diverse society.

SUPPORTIVE LEADER: Najib and his wife during a group photograph section at the closing ceremony. Dr Mohd Mydin is at third fight. — Bernama photo

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said as a passionate believer in the transformational power of sports, he was committed to building a culture of sports in Malaysia that stretched from the grassroots to the elite.

“I am committed not only to achieving national sporting excellence but also to making sure that sports remain a part of life for all Malaysians, which is why I set up a high-level Cabinet Committee for Sports involving 10 different ministries and chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“The committee’s current focus is on the eight core sports — football, hockey, badminton, squash, bowling, gymnastics, aquatics and athletics, and I would like to say that so far it seems to be paying dividends.

“For example, in badminton our home-grown hero Datuk Lee Chong Wei had just won the All-England men’s singles title. And we also take pride in Datuk Nicol David and our football team for their achievements,” he said after receiving the Plaque of Honour from the International Federation of Sports Medicine (FIMS), here, yesterday.

The award was presented by FIMS president Prof Dr Fabio Pigozzi in conjunction with the six-day International Congress on Sports and Exercise Medicine which ended, here, yesterday.

Najib noted that all the efforts to support world-class athletes must be matched with world-class advances in medical care, nutrition and support — sporting accomplishment and achievement born out of the achievements and accomplishments of science.

He said Malaysia was lucky enough to have a National Sports Institute equipped with the latest technology, including a sports medical clinic, medical laboratory, radiology unit, physiotherapy, injury rehabilitation gym, conditioning gym, biomechanics hall, physiological laboratory and nutrition facilities.

The award was given to Najib for his exemplary achievements and accomplishments in the promotion of sports and administration of sporting activities, especially in formulating and implementing the National Sports Policy when he was Sports Minister in 1986.

At the same function, Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was also awarded the Plaque of Honour for her impressive stride in many fields, including taking an active interest in the promotion of welfare, sports and educational activities. — Bernama