It’s humanitarian, says athlete seeking RM4 million for tower running tour

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu hands the national flag to Suwaibah Nasir at an event on Feb 7, 2019. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: A national athlete has defended her quest for RM4 million to fund an international tower running tour to “conquer” 30 tallest towers, after she was criticised by a tower running champion.

Dr Suwaibah Muhammad Nasir said the money would also be used to fund refugee camps and welfare in the countries she is planning to visit.

“The money is not for me. I don’t want to pocket it,” Suwaibah told FMT today, in response to a claim by Asian tower running champion Soh Wai Ching that he could represent the country in the sport with just a fraction of the amount.

Soh had also questioned the moral support for Suwaibah from Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, saying he had been ignored by Putrajaya despite his achievement in the tower running sport, in which participants race to sprint to the top of a tower.

“Why support her? Is it because she had been in the army?” Soh, who is also ranked the world’s fifth in the sport, told FMT.

“Why not support athletes who represent the country like me?” he said.

Soh was commenting on an event where Mohamad was present to lend support to her appeal to fund her Humanitarian Tour to Conquer 30 World’s Tallest Towers.

But Suwaibah, who is an honorary major, said Mohamad’s support was due to her role as an “icon” for air force sports development, of which the defence minister is a patron.

“Now that I have been crowned by the World Peace Community as a global peace ambassador, it’s my responsibility to see this through,” she said.

Suwaibah said she previously won a tower running competition at the Kuala Lumpur Tower in 1998, and the following year, she was sponsored by Telekom Malaysia to participate in a competition to climb the Empire State Building in New York.

Suwaibah said in 2012, she took part in a 1,111km charity run across the Sahara desert as part of a humanitarian effort to protest the blockade of clean water supply for Palestinians, and also raised funds for the National Cancer Council.