Published: Friday August 31, 2012 MYT 3:08:00 PM
Pandelela's presence adds cheer to Merdeka celebrations in Sibu
SIBU: The presence of Malaysia's London Olympics bronze medallist Pandelela Rinong Pamg at the Sarawak 55th Merdeka celebration here on Friday brought much cheer to the over 10,000-strong crowd who turned up at the Sibu town square for the joyous occasion.
Among those present were Sarawak Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng and wife Toh Puan Norkiah, Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Puan Sri Ragad Kurdi Taib.
Speaking at the function, Taib paid special tribute to Pandelela, describing her as "the symbol of our Merdeka after 55 years", saying Malaysia had now been able to "reach the pinnacle of world sports".
"You are the symbol of the tenacious, hardworking Malaysian of all races in Sarawak.
"Through your very dedicated, stoic efforts you have reached the world level in sports because you have the tenacity to achieve what you have considered is your struggle," he said to loud cheers from the crowd.
Taib said this year would also be remembered as the year for the state to embark on a new and more progressive life based on its greater industrialisation emphasis through its regional development corridor of SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy) and away from its traditional timber and agriculture bases.
Earlier, Pandelela was given the honour of reading the Rukun Negara. - Bernama