Diver Datuk Pandelela Rinong named Malaysia’s national unity icon

National diving champion Datuk Pandelela Rinong has recently been named a national unity icon in Malaysia, according to National Unity Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang. This move is part of the ministry’s efforts to promote unity among the people by recognising leaders, artists, and sports legends who embody the values of unity and harmony.

Pandelela Rinong, 29 years old and hailing from Sarawak, has previously been honoured as the Sarawak State Sports Youth Icon in 2016 and Yakult Sports Icon in 2017. In response to a question from Aminolhuda Hassan, Aaron Ago Dagang explained that the ministry is considering producing a short film on a sports legend to further promote unity.

In addition to Pandelela, the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee, a legendary actor, was also made a unity icon. He was celebrated among Malaysian youths in an exclusive exhibition on the national movie icon held last March.

Aaron clarified that the National Unity Ministry does not have direct involvement in monitoring and editing dramas and films. Instead, these responsibilities fall under the jurisdiction of the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) and the Film Censorship Board (LPF).

The ministry’s role, he explained, is to monitor any issues related to harmony and unity through the e-Sepakat system and organise programmes for dialogues or discussions on inter-faith understanding.

“If it is a major issue, a community mediator in the Department of National Unity can be assigned to mediate it. If a problem is more serious, it is referred to the relevant authorities such as PDRM (Royal Malaysia Police), MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) and PBT (local authorities),” said Aaron.

This announcement came in response to a question from Wan Razali Wan Nor, who inquired about the ministry’s involvement in the process of monitoring and editing dramas and films to ensure that the works produced uphold the values of harmony and do not touch on racial and religious sensitivities.

World News

Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.

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