KUCHING, July 26: The federal government must acknowledge Sarawakian diving diva Pandelela Rinong similarly as West Malaysian outstanding athletes are being acknowledged by Putrajaya, says Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.
Masing believed Pandelela deserved to receive the due recognition as her counterparts in Peninsular Malaysia.
“I am proud of our rural people. If given the opportunity our rural Sarawakians will succeed in whatever endeavours.
“It is about time Putrajaya acknowledges that Sarawakians are as good as orang Malaya, if not better, given the chance and opportunity,” he said in a statement today.
Masing was referring to Pandelela’s achievements in glorifying Malaysia’s name in the international diving scene.
“She needs to be recognised not only by Sarawak but also the Malaysian Government.
“The Federal Ministry and State Ministry of Sports must acknowledge and recognise the sporting capabilities of our diving queen,” Masing pointed out.
He added that one of the ways to recognise this young lady’s international achievement is to create a Pandelela Rinong scholarship so Malaysian youth who aspire to succeed as divers and swimmers can have their dreams fulfilled.
Masing noted that the Sarawak government has named Sarawak’s Aquatic Centre after her in Kuching.
“So, what is wrong by naming Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil?” Masing questioned.
“She deserves it so that our future generation will remember what a rural youth can do, if given the chance.
“It will become a positive reaffirmation for our youths. They will say – ‘if Pandelela can do it, why can’t I,” Masing said. — DayakDaily