PUTRAJAYA: Marathon swimmer Abdul Malik Mydins success in conquering the English Channel should set the spirit of Malaysia Boleh for others, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.
In congratulating Malik, Abdullah said his success was proof that Malaysians could perform well in any field.
It does not necessarily have to be in sports. We want to also try to achieve success in science and technology, academic, music and others.
The important thing is to have faith in yourself, confidence, perseverance and discipline, he said after flagging off the 2003 Kembara Merdeka Jalur Gemilang at Dataran Putra here yesterday.
He said some people might question the importance of Maliks swim but it was not an easy task and he was the first person from Southeast Asia to do it. Malik had completed the feat in 17 hours and 35 minutes.
On whether Malik would be awarded, Abdullah said it was up to the Youth and Sports Ministry to decide on the appropriate reward.
In Kota Kinabalu, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the achievement of Malik and the performance of the countrys badminton team at the World Championships showed that Malaysians could stand tall among the nations of the world.
Maliks achievement has made Malaysians proud and it shows that we can stand tall with other races of the world, he said.
It is not an easy achievement. It just shows that the younger generation of Malaysians have a new spirit with a strong sense of self-confidence in achieving what they set their sights on, he said after chairing a special meeting with Sabah Barisan Nasional Youth leaders.
Similarly, Hishammuddin said the performance of Malaysias Wong Choong Hann, who lost to Chinas Xia Xuanze for the individual title at the world badminton championship, had proven that Malaysians could compete as equals in the international field.
On whether the Government planned any incentives for Malik and Wong, he said there were no immediate plans, adding that the two were driven by self-determination to succeed.
In Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Azhar Mansor, the first Malaysian to sail solo around the world, described Maliks feat as an achievement that all Malaysians could be proud of.
Were all worried about the weather, but he made it. A big syabas to him, Azhar said when contacted by Bernama in Langkawi.
Cuepacs president Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam also congratulated Malik, saying his achievement should be an inspiration to all Malaysians.
Historian Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Khoo Kay Kim said Malik was a role model to the younger generation.
In Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Tan Sri Mohamed Isa Abdul Samad said Malik had not only created history for Malaysia but, more importantly, his feat could spur Malaysians to greater heights.
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