News- Pandelela gets RM300K

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak honoured 2012 Olympics diving bronze medallist Pandelela Rinong Pamg at his office here yesterday.

As a token of the governments appreciation, Najib presented the national champion with RM300,000, comprising RM100,000 under the National Sports Council (NSC) prize scheme and RM200,000 worth of shares in Amanah Saham Wawasan.

He also presented a full government scholarship from the Tun Abdul Razak Foundation to enable the athlete to pursue a degree of her choice at University Tun Abdul Razak.

Najib made an assurance that the government was prepared to provide any assistance the young athlete may need to enhance her performance for further international success.

Are you committed for Rio (2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and what else do you need? Do you have everything? a smiling Najib asked Pandelela.

He then asked her about her experience during the 10-metre diving event.

Were you nervous when you started? asked Najib.

Yes, but later I was excited, answered Pandelela.

Also present at the function were Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek; Malaysia Amateur Athletics Union president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, Malaysian Contingent head Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid and NSC director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong.

Pandelelas parents, Hartini Lamim and Pamg Joheng and coach Yang Zhuliang were present too.

The 19-year-old Bidayuh girl attained 359.20 points in the 10m platform event at the recent 2012 London Olympics, while Chen Ruolin of China defended her record with 422.30 points and Australian Broben bagged the silver with 366.50 points. Bernama

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Malaysian diving champion warned of political manipulation by Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud

The Bruno Manser Fund congratulates Malaysian Olympics medalist Pandelela Rinong Pamg for her fantastic performance at the London Olympics, which won her a bronze medal in the 10 m platform diving event. The Sarawak diver was the first Malaysian woman to win an Olympic medal.

However, the Swiss human rights organization warns the diving champion from political manipulation by Sarawak potentate Taib Mahmud (Taib). Last week, Taib announced he would reward the 19-year old bronze medallist with a special gift upon her return to Sarawak. Pandelela is a Bidayuh native of Sarawak, a Malaysian state that is home to over 40 indigenous peoples. The olympic champion is expected to return to Sarawak on Tuesday, 21st August.

Taib Mahmud has abused his political power and done more harm to Sarawaks indigenous peoples than any other Malaysian politician, the Bruno Manser Fund wrote in a statement. He lacks the moral legitimacy to make a special gift to an outstanding Bidayuh champion like Pandelela. We call on Pandelela not to let herself be politically manipulated and advise her to politely turn down Taibs special gift.

Taib Mahmud has been Chief Minister of Sarawak since 1981. He has abused his public office in a spectacular way and has granted his family members logging and plantation concessions over several hundred thousand hectares of native lands. Last year, research by the Bruno Manser Fund showed that Taib family members are stakeholders in more than 400 companies in 25 countries, worth several billion US dollars.

It is feared that Taib is planning to abuse Pandelelas Olympic success to boost his own dwindling popularity. The only gift Pandelela should accept from Taib is his resignation as Chief Minister, which would be a relief to the whole of Sarawak.

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