KUANTAN: Active involvement in sports among students can help strengthen unity as there is an interaction among those from different backgrounds, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said through their participation in sports, the students could communicate, socialise and know each others, regardless of their ethnicity and cultural backgrounds.
"We must build a strong foundation for unity in the education system so that our students could play their role as an agent for unity," he said when opening the fifth Educational Institutions Games (Sipma) tournament at Kolej Matrikulasi Gambang here tonight.
Citing Sipma tournament as an example, he said a total of 1,281 officials and athletes would participate in various sports that could help unite them.
"It's not strange to see our people from different ethnicities participating in sport activities while being cheered by their supporters," he said adding that the Sipma tournament also involved international students.
Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, also urged all educational institutions to focus on sports as it could help develop the social skills among their students and prepare them for the next phase in their life.
He said the ministry had always given priority to the development of sports as it is the best platform to develop human capital and produce athletes who could excel at the international level.
At the same time, he said the ministry had also introduced various initiatives to allow them to excel in sports and implemented comprehensive programme to strengthen the management and development of sports in schools and educational institutions.
The ministry, he said, formed strategic cooperations with other sport agencies including the National Sports Council, National Sports Institute, sport associations and corporations in the development of sports.
"We are also improving sport facilities in schools and under the 10th Malaysia Plan, the government allocated RM235 million for the development of sports and upgrading the facilities at schools nationwide," he said.
Seven contigents, which represent the institutions under the Education Ministry, join the week-long Sipma tournament until this .
Read more: National unity through sports - Muhyiddin - Latest - New Straits Times