Mahathir wants Malaysian kids to learn swimming

November 9th, 2008 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Nov 9 (IANS) Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad admits to not being able to swim. But he wants parents to ensure that their wards can.Mahathir, who was the longest serving prime minister, made the appeal while launching a charity triathlon event here Saturday for an 11-year-old who will swim eight kilometres across the Putrajaya lake.

Mahathir, about 80, pointed out how important it was to learn swimming and urged parents to ensure their children could do so.

He said: “I confess I can’t swim. I am astonished that humans can swim.

“I used to worry that when I sailed on ships, I would sink to the bottom in case anything happen to the vessels,” The Star newspaper Sunday quoted him as saying.

“It is a bit too late for me but I have tried to learn swimming many times.”

The boy, Salman Ali Shariati Abdul Halim, will also cycle 360 km and run 84 km to raise funds for his attempt to swim across the English Channel next year.

If successful, the boy will become the youngest swimmer to cross the English Channel.

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