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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
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.
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman