KUCHING, July 26 — A scholarship named after Sarawak’s diving queen Pandelela Rinong Pamg has been proposed to allow potential divers and swimmers to achieve their dreams.
In making the proposal, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar James Jemut Masing said both federal and state governments must recognise Pandelela’s sporting capabilities and achievements in bringing glory to the country on the international diving stage.
“I am proud of our rural people. If given the opportunity, our rural Sarawakians will succeed in whatever endeavours. It is about time Putrajaya acknowledges that Sarawakians are as good as ‘Orang Malaya’ (Peninsular Malaysians), if not better, given the chance and opportunity,” he said in a press statement today.
Masing added it was also appropriate for an aquatic centre to be named after Pandelela as it would serve as a symbol for future generations of the potential of rural youths on the international stage if they are given the chance.
“The Sarawak government has named our aquatic centre after her in Kuching. So what is wrong by naming Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil?
“It will become a positive reaffirmation for our youths. They will say ‘if Pandelela can do it, why can’t I?’” he suggested.
Pandelela is currently participating in her fourth Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
At the same venue in Tokyo in May this year, she clinched Malaysia’s first ever diving gold medal at the 2021 Fina Diving World Cup.
Pandelela has a silver medal in the 10m synchronised platform from the Rio 2016 Olympics with her partner Cheong Jun Hoong and a bronze medal from the London 2012 Olympics in the women’s 10m platform individual. — Borneo Post Online