By Hafidz Baharom
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 ― The Cabinet should honour badminton ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei as “Sportsperson of the Decade” for uniting Malaysians of all colours and creeds despite failing to capture the Olympic gold for Malaysia at the London games yesterday, the DAP’s Lim Kit Siang said today.
The veteran opposition federal lawmaker said honouring Lee would go a long way to undo the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s recent attempts to drive a wedge among Malaysians with differing political ideologies, citing the controversy surrounding the country’s National Day theme, which has drawn intense public criticism.
“Chong Wei remains the undisputed hero for all Malaysians in the past ten years, sealed by his unequalled achievement of winning two Olympic silver medals for the country ― in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Olympics in London,” Lim said in a statement today.
Peninsular Malaysia marks independence from colonial Britain on August 31 and celebrates its partnership with Sabah and Sarawak in the federation on September 16.
Lee was Malaysia’s best hope to win its first-ever Olympic gold but lost at the hands of archrival from China, Lin Dan, at the Olympic games in London yesterday, breaking Malaysian hearts worldwide.
The federal government’s chosen theme of “Janji Ditepati (Promises Fulfilled)” for this year’s National Day celebrations has drawn intense criticism from the opposition and Malaysians in the run-up to the 13th general election that could see a regime change in the country for the first time since independence and which must be called by April next year.
The theme’s accompanying logo and theme song have attracted intense mockery and scrutiny, with claims that the latter was copied from an Indonesian gospel song.