Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad believes that Malaysia are capable of becoming one of the best football teams in Asia.
Dr Mahathir visited the national Under-23 team at the Palace of the Golden Horses yesterday, ahead of their Asian Zone Group C Olympic qualifying match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last night.
He said the Malaysian players had the physique to match their Japanese counterparts.
“I’m a doctor and I know that diet and nutrition play a big role in sports,” he said. “Our sportsmen were small sized before but we are now capable matching foreign athletes, especially our footballers who are of the same size as the Japanese. We have a tough match against the Japan but I really hope we can beat them this time.”
Dr Mahathir, who advocated the Look East policy in 1981, has advised the team to emulate Japan’s success in football.
“We can learn a lot from the Japanese … they are very productive and very efficient people,” he said.