DOSM chief: Even Makcik Kiah can benefit from sports carnival

The Youth and Sports Ministry held a meeting with representatives from the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) to see how they can use data to help promote the sports industry.

This is part of the ministry’s effort to develop its Sports Satellite Account.

Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin was initially coy about his meeting with ministry officials at Akademi Kenegaraan at Jalan Bellamy, Kuala Lumpur yesterday but said it was “fruitful”.

“They (ministry officials) were very interested to know how they can use data to show the value of the sports industry,” said Uzir.

“They are not looking at just how sporting activities benefit the country, but also the economic impact it has on the nation.”

In 2017, the Malaysian sports industry generated RM18.8 billion. DOSM’s records show that in the same year, 36,511 people were employed in the industry, with wages amounting to RM876 million.

The ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, for example, generated more than 4,500 new jobs in the city, of which 950 would be available after the Games.

Birmingham will receive a £1.2 billion economic uplift for hosting the Games, with an additional £500 million in a one-off construction benefit.

There are also other aspects to consider.

“For instance, if we were to host an event, it would affect tourism, and the food and beverage, and hotel industry,” said Uzir.

“There would be a direct correlation in these areas as a result of the sporting event.”

“There would also be an increase in demand for transportation and other benefits, such as for traders who make merchandise or souvenirs that go on sale.

“Critics often look from the perspective of how many people turned up at the stadium. They complain about how much was spent to organise an event, without realising that there are other benefits and economic returns,” he added.

An example of the ‘beneficiary’ of these unseen benefits is the recent Malaysia Open badminton tournament that was estimated to have generated at least RM20 million in merchandise and other transactions.

Uzir said it is similar to a school’s sports day, where stalls pop up outside the school selling food and beverages and other knick-knacks.

“Even Makcik Kiah can benefit from a sports carnival!”

The Sports Satellite Account is a formal and comprehensive statistics component that will be used as a guide to determine the valuation of the sports industry and how it contributes to Malaysia’s gross domestic product.

To date, only 23 Malaysia Standard Industrial Classification codes are used to determine the contribution of a product or service to the nation’s economy. Experts, however, believe there are some 400-odd codes that can be used, thus widening the contribution of the industry.

Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, during his time as Youth and Sports minister (2009-2013), had promoted the need to champion the nation’s sports industry. However, it didn’t get the needed traction after he left office.

Talks about championing the sports industry were reignited during Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican’s time in Menara KBS. This was followed through by his successor, Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu – the current Youth and Sports Minister.