IPOH: The strong support of the people from the various races for the Malaysia Games (Sukma) proves that sports can unite the people, Youth and Sports Minister, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said.
He said Sukma was unique in that it unites Malaysians who come from different races and religions with high spirit of sportsmanship.
"Sports are not only to be enjoyed and celebrated but it works beyond that. Sports is the agent of unity and as Malaysians, we should be proud of that.
"We need all Malaysians to keep throwing their support. When sports can unite the people, it could also brings down walls created by politics, race and religion," he added.
Syed Saddiq said this in his speech at the opening of the 19th edition of Sukma at the Perak Stadium here tonight.
Present were Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, his consort, Tuanku Zara Salim; Raja Muda Perak, Raja Jaafar Raja Muda Musa; Raja DiHilir Perak, Raja Iskandar Dzulkarnain Sultan Idris Shah and Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
Syed Saddiq also wished all Sukma athletes to be focused and to know their main purpose of joining the games.
"I want you to prove that you are better than Datuk Lee Chong Wei, you are better than Pandalela Renong. I want you to create a phenomenon with your spirits.
"Today, you are going to compete and to represent your own state, but in future, you will be presenting our nation," he said.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Faizal said with improving sport facilities, he hoped Sukma would be the platform for young athletes to shine in order to continue senior athletes' legacy.
As the host of this year’s Sukma, he hoped all the athletes, officers on duty and supporters take the opportunity to visit attractive destinations in Perak, so that they would be home with thousand memories.
The 19th edition of Sukma is held between September 12 and September 22 with 427 gold medals up for, involving 29 sporting events and 39 venues in 12 districts throughout Perak.
Youth and Sports Minister, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (right) said Sukma was unique in that it unites Malaysians who come from different races and religions with high spirit of sportsmanship. (NSTP/ABDULLAH YUSOF)
© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd