MELBOURNE, Sept 14 (Bernama) -- Malaysia should adopt Australia's sports culture to make its mark in the international arena, Malaysian Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said here.
He said the size of the Australian and Malaysian populations was about the same – about 25 million, yet Australians were world beaters in both individual and team sports.
"We must follow Australia's example to build a sports culture, encouraging potential champions from an early age," Ahmad Shabery said.
He said that though Malaysia did not win many medals at the London Olympics, a couple of young Malaysians showed that they could compete among the best.
"But we have a long way to go to achieve the standards set by Australia, Britain, the United States and tiny New Zealand.
"New Zealand, with a population of about four million, won, I think, three gold medals and several other medals," Ahmad Shabery said.
He said Communist countries treated sports like fighting a war.
"Their sports culture is different and perhaps hard to follow."
Sports results was also tied to a country's GDP. "The more a country can give to fund sports, the better its sports people will be able to perform," he said.
Ahmad Shabery was speaking at a gathering of about 300 students and Malaysian community leaders, including the Consul General here Dr Mohd Rameez Yahaya, at a function here organised by the Umno Club to mark Aidilfitri.
It was held at the Malaysian consulate in St Kilda Road.