PETALING JAYA: The Prime Minister and his wife have released a heartfelt video for badminton icon Datuk Lee Chong Wei, voicing their sense of loss over his retirement but also relief that he has decided to prioritise his health.
“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,” Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali said in the video that was shared on Facebook.
She said Lee had made the right decision to retire and that his wife and two sons would be there for him.
“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.”
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad hoped that he could rest and recover from his illness. He also expressed his “utmost gratitude” to Lee for putting Malaysia on the world sports map.
The former world No. 1 badminton athlete announced his retirement from professional badminton on Thursday after an illustrious career spanning 19 years.
He bagged 69 titles throughout his career, including a staggering 46 titles in the now-defunct Superseries – the Badminton World Federation’s top-flight circuit. Lee also spent 349 weeks, including a 199-week streak from 2008-2012, as the world No. 1.
On another note, Dr Mahathir will be going on a three-day working visit to the United Kingdom to meet investors, industry players and students.
“I am scheduled to deliver a talk titled ‘Democracy in Malaysia and South-East Asia’ at the Cambridge Union as well as meeting key UK investors and industry players to strengthen bilateral trade.
“I will also be meeting students from the United Kingdom and Eire Council of Malaysian Students (UKEC),” he said in an Instagram posting yesterday.
Dr Mahathir also said he was placing his hopes on the young generation as a large number of the people of his generation had passed on.
“Whose hands would we leave the fate of this nation to, if not to the young generation?
“I plead with the young generation, please learn and grasp every kind of knowledge to transform Malaysia into a developed country.
“Acquire all skills. Strengthen your inner character. Hold firm to religion and noble values.
“Reject corruption firmly. Inculcate truth, honesty, and justice,” he said.