KUCHING: State Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah heaped praise on national diving queen Pandelela Rinong for her recent Datukship award.
Abdul Karim said it was time such an award was given by the state government to an athlete and a national diver still in her prime in recognition of her contributions to the state and nation.
“If I am not mistaken, this is the first time that a Sarawakian athlete receives such an award while in their prime. Usually, it is given to athletes after their retirement.
“But to achieve this is a testament of (her) excellence in sports and making the nation proud — this is a good achievement.
“It is also apt that the award was given to her during the National Sports Day which was yesterday (Oct 9). Congratulations to Pandelela,” he said.
He said this when officiating at the launch of the state-level National Sports Day celebration on Sunday (Oct 10) at Kompleks Belia dan Sukan, here.
Pandelela was conferred the Darjah Yang Amat Mulia Bintang Sarawak, Panglima Setia Bintang Sarawak (PSBS) in conjunction with Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud’s 85th birthday celebration on Saturday.
The state awards were conferred to other recipients at Dewan Lapau of the Sarawak State Assembly (DUN) complex here.
At the same time, Federal Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu also offered his congratulations to the Sarawakian athlete.
“Congratulations to Pandelela Rinong Pamg, who has been conferred the PSBS award with the title of Dato’ in conjunction with the 85th Birthday Celebration of His Excellency the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Sarawak, Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.
“Hopefully, this award will be a catalyst for her spirit to continue to bring the country’s name to a higher level at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. Well done,” he said in a Facebook post on Saturday.