MALACCA: Malacca-born teen shuttler Julia Wong Pei Xian has been “adopted” by the state government to allow her to concentrate on the game.
With this, she has won the distinction of being the first sports personality to be adopted by the state.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said Julia, 18, from Klebang Besar, would be employed by Perbadanan Air Melaka, a state government-owned agency.
“All she needs to do is to continue playing badminton,” he said after chairing the state exco meeting yesterday.
Julia was honoured as Malacca’s Sportswoman 2004 at the Malacca Sports Council Awards presentation ceremony early last month.
She struck gold in the women’s singles and silver in the doubles, partnering Ee Kwee Teng at the 2004 Sukma in Seremban.
Julia, who captured the singles and doubles titles at the National Schools Under-18 meet last year, was also in the national squad for the Sudirman Cup mixed team championships in Beijing in May.
State Youth and Sports Committee chairman Datuk R. Raghavan said the adoption duration and Julia's salary had yet to be decided.
“She is good in badminton. We need more sportsmen and sportswomen like her to raise the standard of sports in the state,” he said.
Julia will join the Malaysian contingent for the Manila SEA Games in late November.