The schoolboy had experienced probably the most spectacular opening of the Commonwealth Games, bringing back some of its lost shine.
Malaysians who caught the dazzling opening on TV were joined across the globe by a record 800 million viewers.
It was a grand moment for all Malaysians
And the timing could not have been
better, coming just weeks after the country's 41st National Day celebrations.
The pride of Malaysians was clear as
they sang the national anthem loudly, a habit which we should all cultivate.
The stadium roared when the Malaysian
team, in their smart baju Melayu and
songkok, marched into the stadium.
Inappropriate as it may seem, the crowd
of mostly young Malaysians could not
help but hiss at the Singapore
Malaysians are unlikely to forget the
cultural dance performance involving 2,000 schoolchildren and dancers dressed up as bees, flowers, birds
and leaves, depicting Malaysia's rich floral and fauna heritage.
The organisers did the right thing by
depending on an all-Malaysian cast for the opening show.
Ella, Sheila Majid, Ziana Zain and Amy
Mastura proved to be world class acts.
It would have been disastrous to have
the Spice Girls, Celine Dion and Rod
Stewart for the opening, as rumoured
To insist that the Spice Girls cover themselves up would have made them lose their spice and for Celine Dion to sing the Titanic theme song for an auspicious occasion would have been out of place. No one needs that sinking feeling on opening
Rod Stewart, the aging former
grave-digger, would have been a
The opening showcased Malaysian talents to the world. Standing In The Eyes Of The World, that catchy Commonwealth song by Malaysian rock
queen Ella, could have been performed in
the main segment. The song was rendered in the pre-opening which ended at 7.30pm.
Malaysians can hold their heads high.
The opening went without hitches. The
execution was precise and
Kuala Lumpur has proven the critics
wrong. The athletes arrived and found no
haze. The humid Malaysian weather has been tolerable.
The political drama, unfolded days
before the opening, has turned out to be
a side show, fast losing steam.
For a while, there was fear that the
sacking of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim
would lead to some disorder.
Still, the media critics looked for
faults. The Singapore-based CNBC
television network claimed that the
sports facilities would become
“white elephants'' after the Games.
The same reporter ridiculed the city's
transport system and the differences of the sponsors over marketing
In a nutshell, CNBC was trying to imply
that Malaysians are incapable of hosting a world-class event.
But that does not seem to stop CNBC from
accepting the high budget advertisements of Tourism Malaysia.
Perhaps it's time we consider pulling
out our advertisements from unfriendly
news organisations. They must learn that they
should not bite the hand that feeds
In all fairness, not all foreign media has been biased against Malaysia.
Certain Canadian newspapers covering the
KL Games have reported the event objectively and have given the thumbs up for the facilities and organisation.
Malaysians should ignore minor
irritations for now. We shouldn't let
them spoil our fun.
The Unity Towards Progress theme was
apt, reflecting the richness and diversity of the Commonwealth family, and the
cultural performances of the different races
symbolised the strength of the host
Malaysia Boleh! has been shown in word
and deed. To Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir
Mohamad and all Malaysians involved in the Games, it's a well-deserved syabas!