Burst of “Malaysia Boleh” bubble and failure to win a single Olympics medal
in Athens should be point of reflection on the need to channel “Malaysia
Boleh” spirit to more meaningful, substantive and purposeful directions like
world-class sportsmen and women, world-class universities, world-class
police force, world-class civil service and among world’s least corrupt
2004 National Day Message
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Monday): If Malaysia had won a gold, silver or bronze medal at the Athens Olympics, this will be the staple mention in most National Day messages.
There is no reason why Malaysia’s failure to win a single medal in the Olympic Games should not be the focus of national attention on the occasion of our 47th National Day celebrations, as patriotism and nationalism must mean the capability and preparedness to take on both the good and the bad, the high and the low points of a people and country.
The bursting of the “Malaysia Boleh” bubble in the Athens Olympics should be a salutary point of reflection for all Malaysians on the need to channel the “Malaysia Boleh” spirit to more meaningful, substantive and purposeful directions and measures, such as producing world-class sportsmen and women, world-class universities, world-class police force, world-class civil service, among the world’s least corrupt nations instead of having the tallest, longest or biggest infrastructure or object in the world.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the Malaysian Olympics athletes have let the country down. He is right – but not fully. The government had also let the athletes and the country down!
Malaysia has not just stagnated but regressed. Four years ago in Sydney Olympics, badminton gave Malaysia a silver and a bronze medal, while in 1992 in Barcelona, the doubles pairing of Razif and Jailaini Sidek won the bronze.
There was a time when the Malaysian government even entertained the notion of bidding to be host of Olympics Games, when the first Olympics priority for Malaysia is to position Malaysians among the regular medalists, including gold, in every Olympics.
The 47th National Day will be really significant if a new “Malaysia Boleh” spirit is fired up to place Malaysia among the rank of world achievers in substantive, meaningful and purposeful pursuits which bring true credit and glory to the nation and people.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader,
Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor & DAP National Chairman