KUCHING: Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has welcomed a proposal to name a scholarship after Sarawakian national diving queen Pandelela Rinong.
The Youth and Sports Minister was responding to a suggestion by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing.
“I see it as a good initiative. We will look into this,” Abdul Karim said at a press conference today.
At the same time, he said Pandelela should be given some space to prepare for her next event, which is the women’s 10-metre individual platform dive.
“At the moment, let Pandelela have some peace of mind first. Hopefully, she will be able to be on the finishing podium especially in her favourite event, which is the 10-metre solo,” he said.
Earlier on Monday, Masing suggested the naming of a scholarship after Pandelela as one of the ways to recognise her international achievements, so that aspiring divers and swimmers can achieve their dreams.
He said the federal government must acknowledge her similarly as how they do so for West Malaysia’s exceptional athletes.
“I am proud of our rural people. If given the opportunity, our rural Sarawakians will succeed in whatever endeavours.
“It is about time Putrajaya acknowledge that Sarawakians are as good as Orang Malaya – if not better – given the chance and opportunity,” said Masing.