PETALING JAYA: It was a fitting Malaysia Day celebration as Paralympians were feted with cash rewards for bringing glory to the nation in Tokyo recently.
The OSK Foundation, the philanthropic arm of OSK Group, showed their appreciation to the 22 athletes who competed at the Tokyo Games and the Paralympic Council of Malaysia (PCM) by rewarding them with a total incentive of RM105,500.
Powerlifter Bonnie Bunyau Gustin, shuttler Cheah Liek Hou and long jump athlete Abdul Latif Romly received RM15,000 each as the respective gold medallists.
Powerlifter Jong Yee Khie and boccia athlete Chew Wei Lun took home RM10,000 each for contributing silver medals.
The three gold and two silver medals were the best achievement at the Paralympics since Malaysia first participated in Germany in 1972.
The other Malaysian Paralympic athletes, including Mohd Ziyad Zolkefli who was stripped of his gold medal title defence in the men’s shot putt T20 category, received RM1,500 each for their sheer determination and dedication.
“We are honoured to support them as we are humbled by the extraordinary talent and determination shown by our athletes at the Paralympics despite the limitations they faced,” said chief executive officer of OSK Foundation Cheryl Ong.
“They had to train much harder despite coping with the risks in the current Covid-19 situation.
“Their achievements have inspired all Malaysians (not just those with disabilities) to lead an active and purposeful life and more importantly, to believe in our own abilities, work harder and dream big.
“We admire them and want to give them a small token to appreciate what they have done for the country.”
PCM president Datuk Seri Megat D. Shahriman Zaharudin was delighted with the gesture demonstrated by OSK Foundation.
“I must admit, this is one of the largest contributions by a single private organisation to honour our para athletes and PCM.
“I sincerely hope more corporate organisations will step forward to complement the government’s efforts to promote sports movement for the 15% of our society who are categorised as persons with disability in our country,” he said.
The ceremony, held online via zoom, was also attended by the National Sports Council (NSC) Paralympic Division director Mohd Sofian Hamzah and PCM secretary general Datuk R. Subramaniam.