SHAH ALAM: The achievements of Malaysian Paralympians should pave the way for more opportunities for people with disabilities, said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
"I hope that the achievements of Paralympians inspire other sectors, especially in education and economic sectors, to give opportunities to those with disabilities," said Khairy.
Speaking to media at an appreciation ceremony held by Proton and DRB-HICOM for those who won medals at the recently concluded 2016 Olympics, Khairy added that the achievements of the Paralympians is an inspiration for all Malaysians.
"When you give people with disabilities the opportunity to succeed, like how it's done in sports, they can make the country proud," he said.
Khairy added that the accomplishments of the nation’s athletes at the ongoing Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro have left a huge impact on how the public sees people with disabilities.
"With their achievements, society has opened their eyes to the potential of people with disabilities,” said Khairy.
He said that people with disabilities are able to soar to great heights as long as they are given opportunities to do so.
"They should not be defined by their disability, but by their ability to succeed," said Khairy.
Malaysia's first gold medal was won by Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi in the 100m T36 (cerebral palsy) event, while Muhammad Ziyad won the gold with a new world record in the men's shot put F20 (learning disability) final.
Abdul Latif Romly delivered the third gold for the nation by breaking the world record three times in the men's F20 (intellectual disability) long jump final.
At the appreciation ceremony, Olympics medal-winners were handed the keys to brand new Proton cars.
Datuk Lee Chong Wei was presented with a Proton Perdana. Other silver medallists, Pandelela Rinong, Cheong Jun Hoong, Chan Peng Soon, Goh Liu Ying, Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong, were presented with a Proton Suprima. Azizulhasni Awang, who won a bronze medal, was presented with a Proton Persona.
DRB-HICOM group managing director and PROTON chairman Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar Syed Rethza Albar said that the athletes were "symbols of courage".
In accepting the gift, national shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei said that the gifts were appreciated.
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