‘Peo­ple should do what I don’t do – don’t fol­low Dr Ma­hathir’

Dr M wants peo­ple to be un­like him when it comes to ex­er­cis­ing

The Star Malaysia - - Front Page - By RAZAK AH­MAD razak@thes­tar.com.my

BUKIT JALIL: Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad ad­mit­ted that he may not be a good ex­am­ple when it comes to get­ting enough ex­er­cise.

While the 93-year-old Prime Min­is­ter is fa­mous for his habit of work­ing al­most non-stop, he con­fessed that he did not do enough phys­i­cal ex­er­cise.

Speak­ing at the launch of the Na­tional Sports Day, Dr Ma­hathir re­minded Malaysians on the im­por­tance of be­ing ac­tive in sports and ex­er­cise es­pe­cially if they lead a seden­tary life­style.

He then added in a lighter vein that he was un­for­tu­nately not a good ex­am­ple.

“I don’t ex­ert my­self phys­i­cally as much as I urge oth­ers to do.

“Peo­ple should do what I don’t do – don’t fol­low Dr Ma­hathir, he is not quite right be­cause he asks oth­ers to do sports when he doesn’t,” he said.

Dr Ma­hathir said he did not take part in many sports ac­tiv­i­ties in school, with the ex­cep­tion of rugby.

“With rugby, it does not re­quire phys­i­cal skill. If you are brave enough to bash your head against the heads of op­po­nents, then you can play.

“You don’t need to be very skilled, just need to quar­rel with op­po­nents, that’s why I played rugby,” he said.

Cel­e­brated on the sec­ond Satur­day of Oc­to­ber each year, the event or­gan­ised by the Youth and Sports Min­istry aims to make Malaysia a sport­ing na­tion.

Apart from the na­tional-level launch and cel­e­bra­tion held here yes­ter­day, Malaysians from all walks of life took part in con­cur­rent cel­e­bra­tions and ac­tiv­i­ties na­tion­wide.

Dr Ma­hathir said he was proud of Malaysia’s sport­ing achieve­ments in­clud­ing the seven gold medals won at the 2018 Asian Games in In­done­sia held from Aug 18 to Sept 2.

The Prime Min­is­ter also lauded the per­for­mance of Malaysia’s para ath­letes who have won 17 gold medals at the Asian Para Games which is also be­ing held in In­done­sia, from Oct 8 to 16.

Two Malaysian para ath­letes – Mo­hamed Ridzuan Puzi and Ab­dul Latif Romly – broke world records in the 100m T36 and long jump F20 re­spec­tively in the Games.

While Dr Ma­hathir con­grat­u­lated Malaysia’s medal win­ning ath­letes, he lamented the state of the coun­try’s foot­ball team which is cur­rently ranked 171 out of 211 coun­tries by Fifa, the in­ter­na­tional gov­ern­ing body of as­so­ci­a­tion foot­ball.

He said Malaysia was at one point an Asian foot­ball pow­er­house.

“The Ja­panese and Kore­ans were not good at foot­ball like us. We played foot­ball wear­ing boots while they were bare­footed.

“But now, the ones who used to be bare­foot are able to con­test in World Cup. Malaysia can­not even qual­ify.

“I be­lieve Malaysians can do it if they just put in the ef­fort. If you want to be a scorer in a foot­ball team, play and prac­tise a lot.

“Be­lieve me, we will ob­tain the pro­fi­ciency and one day, Malaysia’s foot­ball team will qual­ify for the World Cup.”

Af­ter Dr Ma­hathir’s speech, Youth and Sports Min­is­ter Syed Sad­diq Syed Ab­dul Rah­man cre­ated a stir when he glided along a zip line or Fly­ing Fox over the au­di­ence to the side of the stage while car­ry­ing the Na­tional Sports Day flag.

He then pre­sented Dr Ma­hathir with the flag.

Play­ing ball: Dr Ma­hathir try­ing his hand at a video game dur­ing the launch­ing of Na­tional Sports Day at Sta­dium Bukit Jalil while Syed Sad­diq (sec­ond from right) looks on.

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