We're already half way through the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and Malaysia is still looking for their first medal.
However, according to our Ministry of Health, we already have one -- or rather, part of it -- in our bag.
Stranded in Malaysia
The Ministry claimed that its minister, Dr Adham Baba, was part of the reason why the Philippines won their maiden gold medal at the Olympics.
On Monday (26 July), Hidilyn Diaz made history for the Philippines when she smashed the Olympics records for her clean-and-jerk and overall lift total enroute to winning the gold medal in the women’s weightlifting 55kg category.
And Diaz wouldn't have made it without the help of Adham and the Ministry of Health, a statement
from the Ministry read.
The 30-year-old has been stranded in Malaysia since moving her base to Kuala Lumpur back in February 2020.
As the pandemic struck the country, Diaz was forced to train with makeshift gym equipments as gyms around the country closed down due to the movement control order (MCO).
Diaz and her team later moved their base to a kampung
in Jasin, Melaka to continue her training.
New Straits Times
reported that Diaz and her team stayed at a house belonging to the parents-in-law of Ahmad Janius, who is the vice-president of the Malaysian Weightlifting Federation.
Janius also helped Diaz move the necessary equipment needed for her training to the house.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Taking a little credit
As the Philippines celebrate Diaz's success, Dr Adham and the Ministry of Health were also quick to claim some credit.
According to Free Malaysia Today
, the Ministry of Health said they were the ones who gave approval and expedited the vaccination process for Diaz and her coach so that they could take part in the Olympics.
The High Commissioner of Philippines to Malaysia, Charles C Jose, reportedly got in touch with the Ministry of Health for help, and the Health Minister quickly approved the request.
"Perhaps no one knows that despite the success of the Philippine’s weightlifting champion, Hidilyn Diaz, who won the first gold for her country at the 2020 Olympic Games, Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, the Malaysian minister of health is one of the people who contributed to Diaz’s success.
"Dr Adham is the person responsible for helping Diaz receive the AstraZeneca vaccine needed to qualify Diaz and her team to leave for Tokyo, Japan," Dr Adham’s office said in a statement.
Netizens not buying it
While Dr Adham and the Health Ministry had no problems claiming credit for Diaz's success, Malaysians were not keen at all:
Well done, Hidilyn Diaz and the Philippines! You guys totally deserve the gold medal.