Swimming operators, coaches drowning in debt

Over 100 swim school owners and operators across Malaysia hope the government will consider allowing them to reopen for business.

The group said the Malaysian swimming industry has lost 90 per cent of its revenue in the past 12 months as they have only been allowed to open for 148 days or less since March 18, 2020.

In a recent survey involving those in the industry, the group discovered:

  • 79 per cent of the respondents say they will have to cease operations by the second quarter of 2021.
  • Almost all respondents say their cash reserves have run out and they are operating on borrowed funds or loans.
  • 48 per cent of staff have been laid off and 84 per cent of total swimming industry jobs will be lost if they are subjected to further closures in 2021.
  • 40 per cent of swim instructors have had no income for the past year, while 37 per cent had to take pay cuts of 50 per cent or more.

The group added that unlike gyms or personal training, swimming lessons cannot be done online and added some children with disabilities need to swim for their therapy, movement and mental health.

The US Centre of Disease Control is not aware of any scientific reports of Covid-19 spreading through pool water provided that the swimmers continue to observe the rules of social distancing.

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.

ROADBLOCK ‘BRA’ COP TRANSFERRED

A policeman, who allegedly sexually harassed a driver at a roadblock in Jalan Duta, has been transferred to the administrative division.

Bukit Aman Integrity and Standards Compliance Department (JIPS) director Datuk Zamri Yahya said an investigation is being conducted into the matter.

On Feb 12, a woman claimed she was stopped at a roadblock and asked by a policeman why she was not wearing a bra. The woman also claimed that the policeman said he would not issue her with a summons if she could prove to him she wasn’t wearing a bra by lifting her top.

SABAH UMNO EYES 14 PARLIAMENTARY SEATS IN GE15

Sabah Umno chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said the party hopes to contest in 14 parliamentary seats in the next general election.

In GE14 in 2018, Sabah Umno fielded candidates in Kudat, Kota Belud, Sepanggar, Papar, Kimanis, Beaufort, Sipitang, Tenom, Beluran, Libaran, Kinabatangan, Silam, Semporna, and Kalabakan.

Bung said its target for GE15 would be based on research by the Sabah Umno Election Affairs Office (Juara).

‘MAKE BM A TOOL FOR NATIONAL UNITY’

The usage of Bahasa Melayu should be at the forefront of any unifying activity and policy in Malaysia.

Prof Datuk Dr Teo Kok Seong, while lauding the newly launched National Unity Policy and National Unity Blueprint 2021-2030, also hoped the powers-that-be ensure the policies announced will be implemented to meet its objectives.

GRAVE CONCERN OVER DISPARITY OF WEALTH DISTRIBUTION IN MALAYSIA

There has not been proper and concerted planning to engage and address the plight of the lower-income groups.

During the pandemic, planning has been reactive rather than proactive, writes Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Mohamed Ghouse Nasuruddin.

ACTION AGAINST THOSE WHO BURST HOCKEY BUBBLE

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) has warned those involved in the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) they risk being blacklisted if they leave the ‘Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) bubble’.

The men’s league begins on March 11 and the women’s four days later. Both leagues end on April 3 and will involve 600 players and officials who will be housed at a hotel or hostel which will be confirmed soon.

“A task force will be responsible to monitor the teams and officials, once they enter the bubble. An exemption will be given if there is an emergency situation,” said MHC Competitions Committee chairman Datuk Seri Anil Jeet Singh.

He also confirmed MHC would bear all costs for the ‘bubble’, including accommodation, food and transportation to the National Hockey Stadium, estimated to be around RM300,000.

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