In the story of Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, sports and politics can make a dynamic combination to move a nation.
Boy oh boy, is there much more to Khairy Jamaluddin than what you think of Malaysian politicians? This guy definitely isn’t where he is today because of his family tree and connections. Yes, he may be the son-in-law of our former Prime Minister Abdullah “Pak Lah” Ahmad Badawi, and the only son of former diplomat, the late Dato’ Jamaluddin Abu Bakar and Dato’ Rahmah Abdul Hamid, but this Kuwait-born sports minister is highly qualified for this role – not only with his educational background, but also with his pure love for sports and this country.
BORN INTO SPORT
As the youngest and only son of the family, Khairy grew up as a very active child to a point that sports took on a huge role in his life. Khairy chuckles as he calls to mind his father’s advice to him before he passed away, “You spent 80% of your time in sports, and 20% of your time studying. I want to see you reverse that.”
Though he was heavily involved in sports, he did well enough in school to get into university. Having said that, we have to recognize that Khairy is a really versatile athlete as he is able to play all kinds of sports. He mainly competes in soccer, having captained his Singaporean high school soccer team and playing at a Singapore-school level as a defensive midfielder, and then moving on to playing a striker in his days as a college and university student in the prestigious Oxford University and University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom.
Like his versatility in sports, Khairy used his height, speed and strength to become a promising soccer player. He was even convinced that he would grow up to be a professional soccer player. Not only this, he also studied Sports Science in UCSC, and ran track and field, holding the school record at 11.3 seconds in the 100m sprint, alongside representing his Singaporean school in basketball and trying a bit of cricket.
DOING IT, NOT JUST SAYING IT
Like every average Malaysian, our YB too is not much of a morning person. His active lifestyle kicks in around noon, when he usually tries to get in a good workout by hitting the gym around lunch hour, at least three times a week. As a sports minister, there are perks. There is a gym right below the ministry! You can probably imagine that as a sports minister, there’s much to do and it’s hard to find a fixed time to exercise, however, he would religiously do his best not make an excuse to skip it.
All that dedication and discipline played a part when the YB took part in the Ironman 70.3 that was held in Putrajaya. Not only did he participate, he completed it! His answer to having a disciplined mindset to a healthy lifestyle is, “If you don’t make time for it, you will make every excuse to not do it and it will slip away from you.” This gives you a clearer picture that defines YB as a man who sets the standard by doing exactly what he says.
Not a stranger to long and grueling endurance races, Khairy also participated in the Rembau Challenge 2015, taking part in the Amateur category of a whooping 63km! This race included mountain biking, running, team biathlon, mystery test and tubing; a race that he finished in an estimated time of 8 hours! However, when it comes to pure running, Khairy says that he usually takes part in nothing more than 10km, as to prevent further injuries to his knees.