28 November 2017 – Youth and Sports Minister, YB Khairy Jamaluddin spend 15 minutes to meet and fulfill the Malaysia 7s Under 17 girls wish to meet him, team before they departed to the United Arab Emirates on Monday. It was 30 minutes to remember for the whole team as they met KJ at the parliament, with a special tour around the parliament before the meeting.
“It is something very special to represent Malaysia and that came with a lot of responsibility. We are giving full support to rugby as we realized the sport big potential especially after we won the gold and bronze in the SEA Games and rank 4th in Asia for the 15s team”, said Khairy during the meeting.
Khairy Jamaluddin presented the Malaysia flag to the Head of the Contingent, Puan Seri Diana Diego before she handed the flag to the team captain.
KJ in his speech also urged the team to show fighting spirit despite the team low ranking in the tournament. Malaysia seeded last as the 12th team. He also reminded the player to follow the coach order to make sure they stick to the game plan.
The current Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Pandikar Amin bin Haji Mulia who is also the Patron of the Sabah Rugby Union also present at the ceremony. Tan Sri asked for attention from the Youth and Sports Ministry as this is the first participation from Malaysia in this tournament.
Puan Seri Diana Diego believes that this team has potential to be a serious challenger to any Asia rugby powerhouse in the future. She is giving the team two years to master and polish their ability in order for them to develop further. “Their development also depends on the support and helps by everyone”, added Puan Seri Diana Diego.
Most of the team expenses sponsored by Tan Sri Pandikar Amin and Puan Seri Diana Diego with help from friends and company as they make the expensive journey all the way to the United Arab Emirates.
The team is already in Dubai after 10 hours flight from Kuala Lumpur via Brunei. Malaysia is in Pool D. They will face Thailand in their first matches. Malaysia will end their group match against one of the top team, China. Only the top two team will advance to knock out round with the last team will play in a group round robin.