PETALING JAYA: The Prime Minister and his wife have released a heartfelt video for badminton icon Datuk Lee Chong Wei, expressing their sense of loss but also relief that he has decided to prioritise his health.
The 1 min 58 sec video that was shared on Facebook is simply titled "For Chong Wei" and features Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali sending their well wishes.
"Don't worry Chong Wei, you don't have the opportunity to win the Olympic gold, never mind Chong Wei. I think for me, health is very, very important," Dr Siti Hasmah said.
She said Lee had made the right decision to retire as his wife and two sons would be there for him.
"As you mentioned in your statement, you have been teaching them how to play badminton. God willing, you will see the boys playing badminton and winning the Olympic gold for you," she said.
"Don't regret, you have done the best you could for the country, yourself, for your family, and for all of us," she said.
"Thank you Chong Wei."
Dr Mahathir said he felt touched that the nation's badminton champion had retired.
"I hope he can rest and can recover from his illness," he said.
"I want to wish my utmost gratitude to Chong Wei for putting Malaysia on the world sports map.
"We will feel a loss for our champion because Chong Wei has to retire," he added.
The former world No. 1 badminton athlete announced his retirement from professional badminton on Thursday (June 13) after an illustrious 19-year career.
In all, he had bagged 69 titles throughout his career, including a staggering 46 titles in the now-defunct Superseries – the Badminton World Federation's (BWF) top-flight circuit.
He also spent a whopping 349 weeks, including a 199-week streak from 2008-2012 as the world No. 1.