Will We Honour Wai Ching With A Datukship


 

From Clement Stanley
Shouldn’t champion tower runner Soh Wai Ching be honoured with a “Datukship”?
His achievement in becoming the world’s No 1 tower runner is no joke. He had to compete against runners and athletes from every corner of the earth for the recognition of becoming champion of the world.
He was up against the very best. It was also a massive test of endurance.
When he won, what did he do? He proudly wrapped the Jalur Gemilang around his shoulders and waved it like he had won the ultimate lottery.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob congratulated him on Facebook with a message that reads “ Keluarga Malaysia … do emulate the success that has been carved out by our family member to jointly build success and raise Malaysia’s name on the world stage”.
If we indeed see Wai Ching, the 27-year-old son of a taxi driver from Selayang, as “our family member”, why are we not doing more for him?
FMT columnist Frankie D’Cruz has already asked the question of why the nation is not supporting him financially. What is the youth and sports ministry doing to encourage Wai Ching to achieve even greater heights thus bringing glory to the country?
The country spent millions on athletes and officials to go to the SEA Games in Vietnam only to return with its worst performance in decades. Yet Putrajaya does nothing for someone like Wai Ching who brings glory to the nation. Is this how we treat a “family member”?
Penang was quick to award Nicol David with a “Datukship” for becoming the world’s No 1 squash player. The country did not do that. Just the state of Penang from where she hails.
Who will do the same for Wai Ching? The Selangor government perhaps? Or do we have to wait for Vincent Tan to step forward yet again and reward Wai Ching as he did for the now much respected “Karate Kids” who brought honour to Malaysia without any help from the government?
Must such matters be left to the initiative of a generous tycoon and the private sector?
Year in, year out, thousands are awarded “Datukships” by the various state governments for reasons best known to them.
In some cases, these titles went to people who were later found to be criminals, and to corrupt high-ranking government officials, who brought shame and scandal to “the family”. Even singers are made Datuks for their contribution to the entertainment world but only on our local stage.
Yet Wai Ching’s achievements received only a pat on the back? Where are our priorities? Where is our belief in justice and fair play? Where has the spirit of “our family member” gone?
Was it even there in the first place? - FMT
Clement Stanley is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.


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