Just twelve days ago, I spent some time sitting alongside fellow Malaysians on Jalan Bukit Bintang to enjoy one of our favourite pastimes – watching football. We watched the Malaysian team play against Vietnam and eventually qualify for the two-leg final of the AFF Suzuki Cup against Indonesia. I felt then – not just as Prime Minister, but also as a fan of the sport – that we could be seeing a major turnaround for Malaysian football.
This was reaffirmed last night by our young Malaysian football team, now champions of the Suzuki Cup. Our players demonstrated that discipline, teamwork and perseverance are ingredients to achieve success. If we continue building upon these strengths, we can propel Malaysian football to greater heights. Congratulations to the coaching team and the Malaysian Tigers on this great achievement!
We have enjoyed several key sporting triumphs this year, including outstanding achievements in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and the Asian Games in Guangzhou. To cap it off with a hard-earned victory in football makes this year truly memorable for Malaysian sports. Let these achievements serve as an inspiration for our youths.
The spirit of 1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now was proudly displayed not just by the players in the arena, but also by the millions of supporters who have cheered our fellow Malaysians to glory. Let us together continue to support our Malaysian sports teams with pride, not just in good times but also through trying times, when our national sports men and women need us the most. In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoys the public holiday this Friday to celebrate this victory and to look forward to a new year of greater successes. Onwards and upwards!