Sarawak Minister Says Should Not 'Spoil' Pandelela By Giving Her A Datukship

However, he assured that Sarawak will accord some kind of reward to the diver.

Cover image via The Borneo Post & FINA

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Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth, and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has expressed concern that handing out too many rewards will "not be good" for national athletes

The Borneo Post reported that the minister said this in response to questions asking if the state will reward national diver Pandelela Rinong for her historic gold medal win at the recent FINA Diving World Cup.

"This is because if we keep on think­ing of giv­ing re­wards ev­ery time some­body gets a gold medal or achieves fame, it will not be good, also be­cause ath­letes nor­mally love their sport and they are pas­sion­ate about what they are do­ing," he also wrote on his official blog.

However, he assured that Sarawak will ac­cord some kind of re­ward to the diver.

Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth, and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

Image via The Borneo Post

Abdul Karim revealed that he had received phone calls asking if the state government will confer the two-time Olympic medallist a Datukship in recognition of her sporting achievements

"My re­ply to them was, she is only 28 years old and we should not spoil her," he said.

The minister explained, "Can you imag­ine some­one in their 20s hav­ing a Datuk­ship? It will be very dif­fi­cult for her to in­ter­act nor­mally out­side."

"What I have meant is to let Pendelela (sic) en­joy her life. The mon­e­tary con­tri­bu­tion from the state govern­ment will come, but we do not want to high­light it too much. We would want her to bring us more fame and for her to en­joy the sport that she loves."

Pandelela and her gold medal at the FINA Diving World Cup in Tokyo on Wednesday, 5 May.

Image via FINA

Even so, the minister congratulated the diver and credited her for the success in creating interest among younger Sarawakians in the sport

He said the state is hoping that these young athletes will continue to create a name for themelves in state and national circuits to come.

"I hope with this latest gold medal achieved by Pandelela, it will create more interest in diving as well as other water sports."

Admire Pandelela's gold medal-winning dive here:

Our Malaysian athletes put in great work to make our nation proud: