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Government/nation should give proper appreciation and support to Nicol David, newly-crowned Queen of Squash,  to reach greater international  heights


Media Statement

by Lim Kit Siang  

Penang, Saturday): Malaysia  should show proper appreciation, recognition  and support to the newly-crowned Queen of Squash -  the  spirited 22-year-old  Penang lass, Nicol David who is  the first Asian woman to win the prestigious British Open – the Wimbledon of squash.

When I stood up in Parliament on Wednesday morning to propose proper appreciation  for Nicol’s great achievement in becoming a world-beater and winning  international  fame for Malaysia,  I was rather disappointed by the less-than-enthusiastic support from MPs who had erstwhile been vocal  advocates  for strong government support for local sportsmen and sportswomen.

It will be very sad if  the arrival of a “towering Malaysian” who could hold her own  with the best in the world is not matched  by proper appreciation, recognition and support  by the lawmakers, government and nation.

Sports Minister Azalina Othman Said should be commended for personally phoning Nicol to congratulate  her for her feat,  but this gesture is not adequate and cannot  fully make up for the less-than-enthusiastic  parliamentary response.

It is still not too late for the government and nation to  accord proper appreciation, recognition and support to Nicol, if we are serious about nurturing and welcoming “towering Malaysians” in the respective fields of human endeavour.

I am not suggesting that this appreciation and recognition must be  in  monetary or  material form, like house, land or the national car as seems to be the wont in recent times with some favoured sports personalities, or even titles like Datukship. At the rate bucketfuls of Datukship are being given out all over the country each year, it  has long ceased to represent unique distinction whether of service or contribution to society and nation.

The proper form of appreciation, recognition and support for “towering” sportsman and sportswoman  must be ones which would  encourage Nicol and her peers in sports  to further excel themselves to reach    greater  international heights, and not as in some unfortunate cases in the past, had the opposite effect of  stunting and spoiling  the sports personalities by inducting them into the world of  hedonism – far away from the philosophy of sports.



*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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