LANGKAWI: Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad has thrown a challenge to the younger generation of Malaysians – strive hard to set world records in the fields they are involved in.
Speaking after the successful 48km historic swim by 28-year-old Abdul Malik Mydin from Kuala Perlis to Kuah, Langkawi, the Prime Minister said Malaysians had achieved many successes due to their strong spirit, self-confidence and discipline in areas which had not been tried before and which were previously thought unachievable.
He said in the past Malaysians had achieved world-class feats, including conquering Mount Everest, sailing round the world and excelling in endurance equestrian races.
“I hope the feat achieved by Abdul Malik will be an example to the younger generation, and I dare the younger generation to improve the country’s achievements.
“This is the real success. If we seek the easy way and do undesirable things, we will eventually be destroyed,” Dr Mahathir said, referring to the fact that there were no shortcuts to success.
Abdul Malik arrived to a grand welcome in Kuah at 11.45am yesterday after swimming for 14 hours and three minutes from Kuala Perlis.
The swim, billed as the Langkawi Challenge, was part of Abdul Malik’s preparation for his mission to swim across the English Channel either in July or August.
Dr Mahathir congratulated Abdul Malik for the success, adding that the swimmer had trained more than three years including in ice-cold waters.
The Prime Minister said although Abdul Malik was in a cage to avoid being stung by jellyfish, “don’t anybody think that he was holding on to the cage and was only being pulled along. I myself saw him swimming freely in the cage.”
Dr Mahathir flagged off Abdul Malik in Kuala Perlis and took a boat to follow the final part of his swim.
Asked to elaborate on his challenge to youths, Dr Mahathir said there were many things that could be done such as in cycling, horse riding and climbing Mount Everest and other challenging spots.
“I had proposed in the past that Malaysians cross Antarctica by foot. Although we come from a hot place, it does not mean that we cannot overcome the coldness of Antarctica,” he said.
Acknowledging that such attempts would be dangerous, Dr Mahathir said the people lived in a dangerous world in which they might die anytime – in road accidents, for example, and more so if they drove under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“But if we face this challenge, it will make our spirit and body stronger. We will feel satisfied with our achievement and the country will honour our ability,” he added.
Dr Mahathir, who launched the English Channel Challenge 2003 at the same function, said Abdul Malik would attempt to swim across the 32.8km English Channel in July or August.
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