PUTRAJAYA: Keirin world champion Azizulhasni Awang should serve as a role model in sports for the younger generation of Malaysians, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said he hoped Azizulhasni’s achievement would encourage other Malaysians to participate in sports more actively.
“Hopefully, Azizulhasni will become an icon as he can speak well and has a pleasant personality.
“I am confident he can become a role model, especially for the younger generation,” he said at the ceremony to present Azizulhasni with a residential suite from Naza Corporation Holdings at Seri Perdana here yesterday.
On the contribution from Naza Corporation, Najib said it was a token of appreciation from the corporate sector to Azizulhasni for bringing international glory to the country.
At the event, Najib presented Azizulhasni with a replica of the access card to the suite at Trion 888.
Also present was Naza TTDI Group chairman SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin.
The suite, priced at RM350,000 and located in Equine Park, Seri Kembangan, is part of a Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd project, which is due to be completed by the end of this year.
Gold medal winners at the Rio Paralympic Games 2016, Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi, Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli and Abdul Latif Romli were also rewarded with units at Trion 888.
An elated Azizulhasni thanked the Prime Minister and Naza Group for the incentive.
“I had mixed feelings when I found out that the Prime Minister would present me a suite on behalf of Naza. I am emotional and at the same time, very happy because as athletes, all of us worked very hard and never hoped for this kind of recognition,” he said.
He said it was not easy to reach the ranks of the elite in sports and there had been many sacrifices, including having to live in Melbourne for 10 years, leaving behind his family and spending his youth there.
“What is important is that we get to inspire the younger generation in sports.
“Like other sports champions such as Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Datuk Nicol David, we want to continue inspiring the young.
“We (must) believe we can be world champions in any field,” Azizulhasni said. — Bernama