KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A few days before he left for the Rio Olympics, Malaysian shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei visited a showroom in the Cheras district of Kuala Lumpur looking to invest in a condominium unit.
Now, the property developer that Lee spoke to, Orando Holdings, wants to present the 32-year-old badminton player with the RM1.5 million (S$502,257) unit for his contribution to Malaysian sports.
The 1,100sq ft, three-bedroom unit at the planned Lavile exclusive condominium in Taman Maluri will face the Kuala Lumpur City Centre and come fully furnished.
"At the moment, we don't have a badminton court at the condominium. Maybe we can ask the architect to build at least one court, which we can name after Datuk Lee Chong Wei," said Orando managing director Datuk Eng Wei Chun.
Eng said Lee had shown interest in buying the unit before flying to Brazil, adding that he had already made up his mind early on to give the unit to the shuttler.
"I volunteered to do this. I waited until after his game to tell him," he said.
"I wanted to give him a surprise. He has done so much for the country," said Eng, adding that he hoped this would encourage more young Malaysians to excel in sports.
Asked why Lee was the only Malaysian Olympian to receive a free unit from Orando, Eng said it was because Lee was the face of Malaysia's international sports team and already an interested buyer.
"There will be other chances for future Olympians. I see this as a corporate social responsibility. We want the country to have a bright future and be harmonious. Sports is doing that. This is my way of enhancing our sports for a brighter future for Malaysia," he said.
The 38-storey condominium is expected to be completed in 2020.
This is not the only reward the three-time Olympic silver medallist is getting for his second place win in the Rio final.
He will receive RM637,888 from the National Sports Council and the Badminton Association of Malaysia, on top of a Proton Suprima S 1.6L Turbo Premium and an Osim uDiva Classic Massage Sofa.
He will also get a RM3,000 monthly pension for the rest of his life.
Lee is expected to arrive at the Kuala Lumour International Airport with the rest of Team Malaysia at 1.30pm on Wednesday (Aug 24).