KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian contingent to the Manila SEA Games in the Philippines next November will, for the first time, don uniform national jerseys.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that athletes should be proud of wearing the national jersey.
I am confident the jersey will fire up national spirit further, he told reporters after launching a contest for the design and colouring of the national jersey at his office at the Defence Ministry yesterday.
Najib, who is also the chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Sports, hoped Malaysians would contribute ideas by taking part in the contest which ends on April 30.
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said said the idea of having a national jersey for all sports was mooted by several ministers at the committee's first meeting held at the end of last year.
Previously, national athletes wore jerseys supplied by their respective sports association or sponsors. There was no uniformity.
The ministry hopes this contest will give the people a chance to design a national jersey to represent all sports and give athletes a sense of national pride, she said.
Azalina, who is also the chairman of the jury panel to select the winners of the contest, will be assisted by six other panellists including the president of the Olympics Council of Malaysia, Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar and National Sports Council director-general, Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad.
The contest is open to all Malaysian citizens above 18 years of age. The three main prizes offered include RM10,000, a Proton Gen.2 car and an air ticket to London.
Contest forms will be made available in local newspapers. Bernama