Dr M hopes na­tional team will work hard and be de­ter­mined

New Straits Times - - NEWS - JUMIATI ROSLY jumiati@nstp.com.my

PRIME Min­is­ter Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad has a dream — to see Malaysia qual­ify for the World Cup. In his speech in con­junc­tion with the na­tional-level Na­tional Sports Day 2018 (NSD) yes­ter­day, Dr Ma­hathir com­pared the achieve­ments of the na­tional team to that of South Korea and Ja­pan, which were con­sid­ered much bet­ter.

“Malaysia used to be known for be­ing good in foot­ball, es­pe­cially dur­ing the Merdeka Tour­na­ment.

“Oth­ers were not that good in foot­ball. The Ja­panese weren’t that good, nei­ther were the South Kore­ans. And, we were the ones who were good at the time.

“We played foot­ball wear­ing foot­ball boots, and they played bare­foot. But now, the ones who were once bare­foot are play­ing and com­pet­ing in the World Cup.

“Malaysia, which played even from those days wear­ing foot­ball boots, had not even qual­i­fied for the World Cup,” he said.

Dr Ma­hathir hoped the na­tional team would be de­ter­mined and work hard to re­alise the dream of qual­i­fy­ing for the World Cup.

“I am con­fi­dent that Malaysia can do it, it’s just that we need to put in a lit­tle bit more ef­fort. To be­come cham­pi­ons in foot­ball, a lot of hard work and ef­fort must be put into train­ing.

“If ef­fort and de­ter­mi­na­tion are put into train­ing, we can be that good once again.

“In­sya-Al­lah, one day Malaysia will play in the World Cup and record vic­tory. We can do it, Malaysia Boleh!” said Dr Ma­hathir.

Mean­while, Youth and Sports Min­is­ter Syed Sad­diq Syed Ab­dul Rah­man said he ac­cepted the prime min­is­ter’s chal­lenge to im­prove the qual­ity of Malaysian foot­ball un­til the na­tional team could qual­ify for the World Cup.

“It is a chal­lenge that I ac­cept. Such a chal­lenge just goes to show that Tun Dr Ma­hathir is con­cerned about the de­vel­op­ment of sports in the coun­try.

“We def­i­nitely want to see this con­tinue and In­sya-Al­lah, we can move for­ward to­gether,” said Syed Sad­diq.


Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad and his wife, Tun Dr Siti Has­mah Mohd Ali, at the launch of the Na­tional Sports Day at Bukit Jalil Na­tional Sta­dium in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day.

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