KUALA LUMPUR, 22 Sept 98 (Bernama):

A grand dinner will be held at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Oct 3 as a mark of appreciation to all involved in making the 16th Commonwealth Games a success, said Youth and Sports Minister Tan Sri Muhdiddin Yassin today.

He said Malaysian athletes, who won medals at the Kuala Lumpur 98 Games, will receive their rewards under the National Sports Council incentive scheme at the function.

"Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad has agreed to the holding of the function," he told a press conference here.

Muhyiddin said besides the national contingent, others invited for the function were volunteers and police and Armed Forces personnel.

The Games, which began on Sept 11, was closed by the Commonwealth head Queen Elizabeth II last night.

Malaysia had a successful outing in the games when it collected 10 gold, 14 silver and 12 bronze medals to take the fourth spot in the medal tally out of 70 nations which participated in the Games.

Muhyiddin said Malaysia should be proud in being able to successfully organise such a big Games so well.

"It was a big challenge to the nation and we have proved that what others can do we too can do. We've done our very best," he said.

He said all aspects of the organisation of the Games went on smoothly even though there were some hitches which was normal for big sports meet like the Commonwealth Games.

Muhyiddin, however, said that most of the problems at the Games were minor and didn't hinder the overall running of the Games.

Sukom Ninety Eight Bhd Executive Chairman Tan Sri Hashim Mohd Ali, who also attended the press conference, took the opportunity to ask the media for their opinion on the running of the Games.

He was told that almost all the foreign journalists involved in the coverage of the Games had positive views and some felt that the organisation was comparable to that of the Olympic Games.

Hashim expressed his appreciation to the media for giving wide coverage to the Kuala Lumpur 98. -- BERNAMA


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