1. First of all, please accept my apologies for not being able to attend the Team Presentation ceremony of PETRONAS Le Tour de Langkawi 2020 tonight.
2. However, allow me to warmly welcome all the riders, teams and officials to Malaysia.
3. As much as I am not here physically this evening, I will be following the race closely. InsyaAllah, God willing, I shall see all of you at the Final Stage in Langkawi.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
4. The PETRONAS LTdL 2020 is a very special event to us as it celebrates its 25th edition, its silver jubilee. It is a milestone that LTdL can be proud of and should encourage those involved in organising it to strive for new milestones and achievement.
5. And now that it has returned to Sabah and Sarawak after a long hiatus, LTdL is back to what it was meant to be - that it is inclusive and a platform to showcase Malaysia’s unique culture and amazing landscape.
6. In its 25th Edition, it is my fervent hope that we can elevate LTdL from a prestigious international cycling event into a race with a strong identity or brand that would last for another 25 years.
7. I hope LTdL to be like the big tours – such as Giro d’Itallia or Tour de France where international cycling fans plan years ahead to be there and are willing to take that long flight to Italy or France just to experience the race and the country first hand.
8. I believe this is achievable. Already our cyclists are of world class. But to reach to that stage, we must capture the imagination of cycling enthusiasts and their communities.
9. We must come up with a comprehensive plan then strategise and start putting in the hours to make it a reality.
10. Before I end my speech tonight, I would like to wish all the riders and their teams the best of luck in the race tomorrow.
11. Cycling under the scorching hot Malaysian sun and at times, under the monsoon rain is no easy feat. That to me is already a commendable feat.
12. Good luck and see you in Langkawi soon.