PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today watched The Putrajaya Boat Race 2019, an activity he had once suggested to organise when Putrajaya was first developed.
Mahathir said he had proposed for the boat ride involving some of the oldest universities in Malaysia be organised, just like it’s held abroad in countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan.
In Kedah, he said such racing events were held in conjunction with the Sultan’s Birthday on traditional Malay boats.
“Previously, we proposed to hold this event, but there was no response ... until now, I became a ‘dictator’ Prime Minister the second time around, and I forced them to have this boat race,“ he joked during a press conference after the event at the Putrajaya Lake Club here today.
Earlier, Mahathir and his wife Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad and Putrajaya Corporation president Datuk Dr Aminuddin Hassim embarked on a cruise from the Perdana Leaders Foundation to the Putrajaya Lake Club to watch the final race between the men’s rowing teams from the University of Malaya (UM) and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
UPM emerged the winners, bringing home RM1,500 in cash, medals and a challenge trophy, while the UM team received RM500 and medals.
Mahathir also hoped The Putrajaya Boat Race could become a popular annual event.
In total, 14 teams took part in the 3.8km race around the Putrajaya lake this year, involving seven categories: universities (men and women), alliance universities (men and women), uniformed teams, local authorities and schools.
The women’s university category was also won by the UPM squad and the UM women’s team came in second place. — Bernama