Abdul Karim’s remark ‘totally unnecessary’ even if no plans to give Datukship to Pandelela

Abdul Aziz Isa

KUCHING, May 7: DAP Socialist Youth Stampin chief Abdul Azis Isa has described Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah’s “it is not good to always give rewards to athletes every time they win something” remark as “totally unnecessary”.

Abdul Karim made this statement yesterday (May 6) when asked if Sarawak will bestow Datukship on national diver Pandelela Rinong following her outstanding achievement in delivering Malaysia’s first gold medal at the FINA Diving World Cup in Tokyo in which he emphasised that Sarawak has its own way to honour and reward the high achievement of athletes.

But Abdul Aziz has today criticised Abdul Karim for using such negative and discouraging language which is damaging to the Sarawak sports industry.

“If the State has no plans to bestow Pandelela Rinong with ‘Datuk’ title, so be it but is the statement even necessary in the first place?

“Such statement is unbecoming and a huge embarrassment for Sarawakians judging from his position as the State Minister of Youth and Sports. How can he come up with such remark?,” he questioned in a statement today.

Abdul Aziz shared that there were prominent figures in this country who had received Datukship in their 20s but not all of them were making the country proud, noting that some were even charged for getting involved in organised crimes, frauds, dodgy companies and so forth.

“Some of their achievements were unknown to the public but they were somehow given the ‘Datuk’ titles.

“(But) The vexing issue here is not about whether Pandelela Rinong should be awarded with ‘Datuk’ title or not. It’s about (Abdul) Karim’s statement,” he added.

Instead of touching on the issue of whether Pandelela should be given an award or not, Abdul Aziz emphasised that the Minister should focus on how the State government can improve water sports activities in order to produce more young athletes like Pandelela.

“At least upon knowing Pandelela’s latest achievement, the State government could try to come up with some ideas such as encouraging more young Sarawakians to participate in water sports activities, organising more water sports competitions to produce more water sports athletes, improving water sports facilities throughout the State and creating State-owned water sports academy and make water sports as a profession.

“It would be nice if (Abdul) Karim gives his support and produces positive statements instead of being negative and discouraging.

“I would like to advise (Abdul) Karim to improve on his public relation in the future and stop giving negative statements as it damages our sports industry,” he added.

Meanwhile, Abdul Karim explained that it was unsuitable to give Datukship to young people like Pandelela who is only 28 years old as the status “would make it difficult for her to interact outside with the public”

More importantly, he added that getting a reward should not be the target of athletes or anyone for that matter in striving for excellence and success. — DayakDaily