Let's credit our heroes

As published in The Malay Mail today.

by Haresh Deol

IT is amazing how some people will go to great lengths to highlight something that has little significance but treat achievements by their compatriots lightly.

National divers Pandelela Rinong Pamg and Leong Mun Yee reclaimed the bronze medal in the women’s 10m platform synchronised diving event at the World aquatics championships in Barcelona on Monday. They won the bronze in the same event at the 2009 edition.

Malaysia were among the four Asian countries to participate in the finals. The others were eventual winners China, North Korea (placed 9th) and South Korea (11th).

Some 530 kilometres away from La Sangrada Familia, national paralympic athlete Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli emerged victorious in the men’s shot put (F20) at the International Paralympic Council World Athletics Championships in Lyon, France.

National archers Khairul Anuar Mohamad, Atiq Bazil Bakri and Haziq Kamaruddin, had on Monday, won the silver medal in the men’s recurve final at the Archery World Cup stage 3 in Colombia.

Then there’s the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, obviously not a Malaysian, who finally gave birth to a baby boy yesterday after hours in labour.

I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to the British monarchy. The closest I will ever get to them is through television and newspapers.

I would, however, like to pay tribute to the heroes and heroines who have done Malaysia proud. Their achievements should be given the prominence it truly deserves.

In Australia, an Aussie Rule football final will the hog the headlines despite many around the world being clueless about the sport. Americans will go overboard when it comes to success stories in basketball, American football and baseball.

Sadly, some of us get too fixated over news that matter little to Malaysians. Perhaps to these folks it is all about eyeballs, hits, numbers... or perhaps they are secretly stuck in their colonial past.

Many Malaysians have achieved major accomplishments and breakthroughs that we know little of.

While the British media spoke about what Kate wore hours before going into labour, her love life with Prince William and probable names for the baby, wouldn’t it be great if we showed such interest on Malaysians?

Is pendrive inventor Sekinchan-born Pua Khein Seng working on new masterpiece? How many products designed by renowned Malaysian designers Datuk Jimmy Choo and Datuk Zhang Toi are in the wardrobe of Hollywood actress Catherine Zeta-Jones?

Did you know that former prime minister Tun Mahathir Mohammed and Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing, founder of LimKok-Wing University, played a vital role in ensuring Nelson Mandela and the ANC ended apartheid in South Africa?

Let’s give credit to our heroes — may it be triumphs on the field or in the laboratory.

As Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said: "We need a little more excitement and public acknowledgment."

Well said. If we don’t do it, who will?


  1. How about some credit for those in the backroom? ie sport science staff



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