Steven Sim

Embrace new ways, Steven Sim tells sports fraternity

Stakeholders must ditch the culture adopted by the previous administration and embrace changes instead of taking things for granted.

In pushing for reforms, including allowing clubs to play a more active role in the sporting ecosystem, Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim said certain parties are still not used to being questioned or challenged.

“They (stakeholders) are used to the old ways of doing things … they are comfortable with the approach of the old administration. They also take things for granted,” Sim said.

“For example, the national sports associations (NSAs) must always be right. They are not used to being challenged. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy a friendly relationship with NSAs and our doors are always open.”

Sim said such an attitude was typical and expected, likening it to a person’s first day at work.

“There will be unfamiliarity. But we have to adjust and not take things for granted.”

Sim highlighted the recent departures of shuttlers from the national stable was, in fact, a positive sign for Malaysian sports.

Doubles pairs Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying and Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong have left BA of Malaysia (BAM).

“People, mostly those outside the fraternity, have been sending me messages asking why they are leaving BAM.

“In fact, I told (BAM president Datuk Seri) Norza (Zakaria), ‘it’s a credit to BAM that Peng Soon and Liu Ying left’ … because BAM has given them options.

“In other sports, athletes don’t have options,” added Sim during his visit to Twentytwo13’s office this afternoon.

Steven Sim
Sim shares a light moment with the Twentytwo13 team.

Responding to Twentytwo13’s article ‘Going independent means being truly independent’ published yesterday, Sim added it was only natural to see more clubs playing their part in discovering and nurturing talents.

“I don’t think it is wrong for us to say we want more ‘schools’ (clubs) … if sports is dependent on the single route, that is as much as it can get.”

Sim said government funding is limited especially when it comes to sports. Nevertheless, plans are afoot to ensure independent athletes do not lose out as they still represent the nation.

“Clubs should complement, not compete with, NSAs. At the end of the day, the real winner should be Malaysian badminton.”