Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.


Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

On behalf of Malaysia it is my privilege and pleasure to welcome the international polo teams, as well as officials and supporters who have come from around the world to this beautiful country of many races and religions called Malaysia. In short, Malaysia is truly Asia and is often called the “MELTING POT” because our population is made up of diverse cultures and beliefs.

It is a special honour for us to host the FIP World Cup Zone D Qualifier from the 11th to the 26th of June 2011.

I wish to congratulate the Royal Malaysian Polo Association (RMPA) for their excellent teamwork in persuading the FIP to accept out bid to host this auspicious event. It stands a testament to our government’s efforts further develop sports in the country at all levels.

We have been trying, with some success, to attract several world-class events over the past few years…the Junior World Cup Football Finals, the Junior World Cup Hockey Finals, The Thomas Cup and Uber Cup Badminton Finals, also the World Super Series Masters Badminton Finals, the Formula One Grand Prix and not forgetting sailing - which is better known as the Monsoon Cup.

I am delighted we are hosting the FIP World Cup Zone D Qualifier, which is a first for us although Malaysia has a proud record of hosting equine events. In 2006, Malaysia hosted the FEI World Cup Jumping Final which saw the 50 best showjumpers in the world competing.

In 2008, Malaysia hosted the FEI World Endurance Championships and this involved 300 best endurance horses and riders. The WEC broke media and TV coverage records, prompting the FEI to recognize Malaysia with an award for best media coverage.

The FIP World Cup Zone D Qualifier will create a sporting buzz not only in Malaysia, but also around other regions as Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Nigeria and Singapore join in the fray to fight for the three places available from this Qualifier for the FIP World Cup Finals which will be held in San Luis, Argentina in October this year.

Some of the finest polo players from around the world will be in action here and it sets the stage and standard for the future landscape of polo.

Closer to home, the Zone D Qualifier will provide our players the opportunity to play against some of the world’s best and spur the development of polo throughout the Asean region.

Polo carries a long tradition of excellence and the traits of this sport span from team spirit and determination to speed, agility and dexterity. The game builds strong character and a fighting spirit which helps player brave challenges that come their way and spurs them to excel in life. With the competition lined up for some of the world’s best to pit their skills against one another, I hope more youths around the world would be inspired to take up the sport and sportsmen would be further motivated to continue to strive for excellence.

I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to the FIP for giving us the opportunity to host such an eminent event. I would also like to commend the Royal Malaysian Polo Association their hard work with the preparations and the organization of the event, as well as all other parties involved to make it a reality.

To all the supporters who have come from Malaysia and other parts of the world to witness all the exhilarating matches, I wish you a pleasant and memorable experience.

I am sure the event will be a great success and I am also confident that the tournament will stir up interest in the sport in our youth. I wish all the teams the best of luck in the tournament.

Thank You.