KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 – It was a delight for Malaysians to hear that Malaysian track star Shereen Vallabouy had emerged victorious in the indoor 400m in second-tier US college athletics but why has there been a silence from the Prime Minister and other ministers on this outstanding achievement overseas?
Posing this question in a statement issued here today, Ipoh Barat Member of Parliament M. Kula Segaran said it was disheartening that no mention has been made by the ministers “despite our very own athlete achieving greatness in another nation.”
It was even reported that her victory was an outstanding one as nearly 300 teams and over 1,000 individual athletes contested the women’s indoor 400m title at the start of the 2021-22 US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) division II track and field campaign.
“Why the deafening silence from the government and the Cabinet?
“Our Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah have done what the Government and the Youth and Sports Minister had failed to do when they expressed their pride and joy at the success of Shereen, and hoped that the excellent achievement will spur her and the national athletes to continue to work hard to achieve success and glorify Malaysia’s name in future championships.”
Kula said the government should not only encourage its citizens to be active in sports by funding it adequately but must give due recognition and acknowledgement of all athletes on their success, even more so if it is of world class.
He expressed surprise over how Shereen’s achievements had gone unnoticed.
“The failure to congratulate and express appreciation of Shereen, who originates from Ipoh, is a clear let down of sportsmanship by the Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
“Both the parents of Shereen Vallabouy were great athletes during their younger days having represented Perak and the nation. They won medals in regional competitions like the SEA games. Her parents have since retired.
“Although having very little money, her parents managed to send Shereen to the USA to pursue her studies, on a shoestring budget.”
Kula also called on the Youth and Sports Minister to look into the matter and assist Shereen financially.
Among Shereen’s achievements include winning for the country the 2015 Sea Games 400m Bronze medal, 2015 Asian Youth Bronze Medal.
She is also the 2015 Asean Youth Gold medalist and had represented the country in the World Youth championship in Colombia in 2015 and won a bronze in the 2017 Sea Games 4x400m.