On the Beat | By Wong Chun Wai

Outstanding in the eyes of the world

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
to cherish.

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 
clear misfit.

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!