In a bid to lead by example, Members of Parliament will be taking up the Garmin MP Step Challenge to get fit.
So far 42 MPs have volunteered for the challenge which will see them wearing a Garmin Vivofit 2 fitness band that tracks the number of steps they take each day.
The elected representatives taking part include Johor Bahru MP Tan Sri Shahrir Samad, Tapah MP Datuk Saravanan Murugan, Masjid Tanah MP Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, and Penampang MP Ignatius Dorell Leiking.
The MP with the highest average from Sept 14 to Oct 2 will walk away with RM10,000, to be used to promote sports for his or her constituency in conjunction with National Sports Day on Oct 10.
The challenge is the brainchild of the Youth and Sports Ministry and Aeco Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd, the sole Malaysian distributor for Garmin products.
“Sports unites everyone regardless of their ideology, political party, race, religion and gender for a noble cause,” says Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
As MPs can set a good example to the people by adopting a healthy lifestyle, he hopes more will participate in future challenges.
“Based on our research, only 30% to 40% of Malaysians are actively exercising on a regular basis,” says Khairy.
Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming says the idea is good as the MPs can motivate each other to do better.
Ong, who is said to be the fittest elected representative, is training for an upcoming 42km full marathon.
There are two categories in the challenge – Team Universe for MPs aged 45 years or older, and Team Olympic for those below 45.
The second and third prize for each category is RM7,500 and RM5,000, respectively.
The public can track the progress of their MPs on Aeco’s website at goo.gl/y1rIuP starting Sept 14.
Aeco senior manager Ivan Ong says the company is open to turning the challenge into an annual affair, as well as extending it to other government departments.