Former education minister Maszlee Malik is known for his novel ideas and he has suggested another new plan – a Malaysian professional wrestling circuit.
Maszlee (Independent-Simpang Renggam) asked communications and multimedia minister Annuar Musa to look into setting up a wrestling competition saying this is a sport with potential but it needs help.
He cited how the United States’ World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) company – which has Wrestlemania as its biggest competition – was supported by the government and the media. He added that even Saudi Arabia had started promoting professional wrestling events.
“One industry needs help from the communications and multimedia ministry, which is local professional wrestling.
“We have local talents who are known internationally, but they get no attention from the ministry. We have Phoenix, the hijab-wearing wrestler who is well-known internationally.”
Phoenix, or Nor Diana, gained fame when she beat four male wrestlers. Another famous wrestler is Ayez Shaukat Fonseka Farid, who has been tipped by former top wrestler and actor Booker T to make it big in the sport.
“I suggest that RTM and other government channels help kickstart this industry. We can help them to lift the name of Malaysia while entertaining Malaysians,” Mazlee said in a parliamentary question to Annuar.
An amused Annuar admitted to the Dewan Rakyat that he was not very knowledgeable on the wrestling entertainment industry, but said the development of any sport involved the relevant bodies responsible.
However, he said he was ready and willing to work with any of the relevant bodies on professional wrestling, adding that Maszlee could organise a meeting between him and local professional wrestlers.
Maszlee then clarified that professional wrestling was usually listed under entertainment rather than sports, which was why he was raising the matter with Annuar.