KUALA LUMPUR - The excellent achievement of athletes in the SEA Games not only did the nation proud but brings about a positive feeling among the people said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said when he met the people, they had given him very positive reactions and were full of praise for the Malaysian contingent's achievement and commitment.
"So, you (athletes) have changed the mood of the country and the people, no matter what race, religion, culture or colour of skin. All Malaysians are so excited and proud of the contingent's achievement,"he said after celebrating the country's achievement of 111 gold medals in the SEA Games at the hotel where National athletes are staying.
He was accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and chef-de-mission Datuk Marina Chin.
Malaysia achieved the 111-gold target when World keirin champion Mohd Azizulhasni Awang sprinted his way to the men's Sprint gold at the National Velodrome in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, tonight.
Najib said when an athlete wins a gold medal, it inspires others to strife hard to win as well.
He said the women's basketball team's spirited fightback to win the gold medal by beating Thailand despite trailing during the match was a good example of the rising together slogan adopted for the games.
Asked whether he would announce a special holiday for the Malaysian contingent's achievement, Najib quipped:"Wait first because the SEA Games is not over yet."
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin who was at the National Velodrome in Nilai to witness Mohd Azizulhasni winning the country's 111th gold medal said the Malaysian contingent can surpass the collection and set a new record.
"The achievement is due to careful planning and the implementation of several programmes to produce champions. I regard this win as a present to the people of Malaysia in conjunction with the 60th Merdeka Day celebrations,"he told reporters after presenting prizes to winners.
Malaysia have thus far accumulated 111 gold, 77 silver, 69 bronze while second placed Thailand have 60 gold, 72 silver, 75 bronze while Vietnam are third with 54 gold, 41 silver, 51 bronze.
"It is clear that we have surpassed our target and heading towards a historic achievement. I am indeed proud of the athletes who have given their all towards our goal,"he said.