: Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak has called upon all Malaysians to rise together and support local athletes who will be competing in the upcoming 29th SEA Games and 9th ASEAN Para Games.
Salleh said 2017 marked a momentous milestone in Malaysia's history, as both games would coincide with the nation's 60th Independence Day celebration on Aug 31 as well as Malaysia Day on Sept 16.
"The last time we played host to this biennial SEA Games was back in 2001 and we emerged as overall champion with 111 gold medals. Now, after 16 years, our nation will once again play host to the biggest multi-sports event in Southeast Asia
"In the spirit of Merdeka, let us 'Bangkit Bersama' (rise together) and support our local sporting heroes who will be giving us their best representing our countries," he said in a post on his blog, sskeruak.blogspot.my, titled 'Rising Together in Unity' today.
The 29th SEA Games will take place between Aug 19 and 30, while the ASEAN Para Games will be held from Sept 17 to 23. This will be the sixth time that Malaysia hosts the biennial SEA Games.
Both games are also the first to be held after the formulation of the ASEAN Community under Malaysia's chairmanship in 2015.
Sharing his excitement for both games, Salleh expressed his confidence that patriotic Malaysians would once again be able to set their differences aside to celebrate and cheer for the national contingent.
He said Malaysian sports had seen its ups and downs, but it had never lost the excitement and liveliness.
"Congratulations to all our dedicated national athletes and coaches who have worked hard and sacrificed a lot to get to where you are.
"To all Malaysians, let us unite and rise together during this landmark occasion," he added.