KUCHING: Top Bidayuh leaders congratulated Pandelela Rinong and her diving partner Cheong Jun Hoong for their historic win for the country.
Youth, Sports and Solidarity Minister Datuk Sri Micheal Manyin Jawong, Dayak Bidayuh National Association president Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, Bung Bratak Heritage chairman Dato Peter Minos and Assistant Minister of Public Health Datuk Dr Jerip Susil have hailed Pandelela as a state and national hero for her success.
“Government must now give real recognition in appreciation as is being done for Lee Chong Wei – give Pandelela a datukship, not just a million. She is after all a Malaysian heroine, not just of Sarawak or Bung Bratak,” said Minos, who is also Walikota of Samarahan District Council (SDC).
Pandelela has already received the Johan Bintang Kenyalang (JBK) award from the state government for her bronze medal win at the London Olympics four years ago.
“Because Pandelela is from Kpg Jugan of Bung Bratak area, I am naturally so happy that she has brought great pride and honour to Sarawak and Malaysia,” he said, applauding the 23-year-old for the accomplishment.
“Pandelela has always been a role model for not only the Bidayuh youth, but state youth. We in DBNA will pursue whatever reward deem fit as a recognition for her feat and success at the Rio Olympics. The community is proud of her and is confident a few more youth will follow in her footsteps, not necessarily in diving, but other sports and fields,” said Ik Pahon, citing Pandelela as an active speaker and rolemodel in DBNA events.
“Yes, history is once again created by a rural Bidayuh girl. This time is even better – silver. Congratulation to the pair who have created history for Malaysia. We are indeed very proud of them,” said Manyin.
Jerip commended Pandelela on her achievement: “This is synchronised diving at 10m. This is a tremendous improvement from her previous international dive. This is a pride to Sarawak and Malaysia and particularly the Bidayuh community. We look forward to her performance in the individual diving event. We pray that she can do even better.”
Pandelela’s next event will be the women’s 10m platform on Thursday, August 18, 2am while Cheong will also be competing in the 3m springboard on August 13, 2.30am.