Pumped Up for SEA Games

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Najib encourages SEA Games and Para Asean Games athletes while Khairy reveals targets of medals and urges Malaysians not to be over sensitive to Singapore swimmer Joseph Schooling’s remarks which have riled netizens.

  • PM urges athletes to do their best, being on home turf
  • The rakyat to give its fullest support
  • Aiming for 111 gold medals for SEA Games, 103 for Para Asean Games

The prime minister has urged the athletes of KL 2017 to do their best as they will be competing on home turf and they can count on Malaysians to give their fullest support.

He was speaking to 874 athletes who will participate in the 29th SEA Games as well as the 418 athletes for the 9th Para Asean Games at the Jaguh Gemilang handover ceremony for the KL2017 games.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said Malaysia’s target for the SEA Games is 111 gold medals, while for the Para Asean Games is 103 medals.

The SEA Games will be held from Aug 19 to Aug 30 while the Para Asean Games will be from Sep 17 to Sep 23.

Earlier today, Khairy urged Malaysians not to be over sensitive over the “teaching them a thing or two” remarks attributed to Singapore’s Olympic champion swimmer Joseph Schooling.

Joseph Schooling’s recent remarks about going to “Malaysia’s backyard” and teaching them “a thing or two” did not go down well with netizens, who said they were distasteful and uncalled for. Some had commented that he ought to be “schooled on manners” and should be humble.

Khairy said that Malaysians needed to share the excitement and honour of Schooling being the sole Olympic gold medallist from Southeast Asia in swimming.

“Let’s not dwell on this too much,” he said, adding that it was important to remember that Schooling’s mother was Malaysian and that he did not think the swimmer meant it in any negative manner when he uttered the remarks.

Pointing out that the biennial Games was a celebration, he expressed hope that the matter would be put to rest.

Schooling, 22, had said that his comments had been taken out of context, according to a Channel NewsAsia report.

“But I was actually talking about the younger kids going there, and teaching all the rookies a thing or two about the launch pad that we have in the SEA Games to bigger and better meets in the future,” Schooling was quoted as saying.