Sarawak to reward Paralympian medallists Bonnie, Yee Khie, says state minister

Bonnie (front, centre) and Jong (left) and Fatimah in a photo call with Abdul Karim (back row, second left) at the KIA VVIP terminal lounge. ― Picture courtesy of Welfare Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry
Bonnie (front, centre) and Jong (left) and Fatimah in a photo call with Abdul Karim (back row, second left) at the KIA VVIP terminal lounge. ― Picture courtesy of Welfare Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry

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KUCHING, Sept 17 ― Incentives and awards for two Sarawak Paralympic athletes, Bonnie Bunyau Gustin and Jong Yee Khie, who won gold and silver medals respectively in power lifting at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, will be announced after the State Cabinet meeting at the end of this month.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah told reporters this at the Kuching International Airport (KIA) VVIP terminal lounge when leading a state delegation to welcome the athletes on their arrival back in Sarawak.

“Today we are not announcing incentives and awards but at the end of this month we will have a Cabinet meeting where a paper on what incentives will be proposed and also the awards to be given (to Bonnie and Jong) will be brought up.

“So I think after getting the approval of the Cabinet, we will announce it,” he said.

Bonnie and Jong, who were accompanied by their coach Jamil Adam and three other para athletes from Sarawak, Wiro Julin (archery), Jamery Siga (swimming) and Muhammad Nur Syaiful Zulkafli (swimming), arrived at here after undergoing two weeks of quarantine in Kuala Lumpur following their return from Japan.

Apart from Karim and Welfare Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, the returning group were met at the airport by their family members.

Abdul Karim added the usual practice is that total incentives given by the state is half of what is given by the federal government.

“For us in Sarawak, all those (Sarawak athletes) who have represented Malaysia are our heroes and we are proud of their achievements. We hope that what they have achieved will be an inspiration to para athletes and non-para athletes.”

He congratulated Bonnie and Jong for their podium finish and thanked the coaches and parents of the athletes for their support in their journey to Paralympics glory, as well as the three other para athletes for making it all the way to the Games.

Among those in the state delegation welcoming back the athletes were Abdul Karim’s assistant minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan, and Fatimah’s two assistant ministers Datuk Francis Harden Hollis and Datuk Rosey Yunus. ― Borneo Post

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