Have we forgotten about the Podium Programme Enhancement Task Force report?

I‘m tired of waiting.

Kuala Lumpur hosted the 2017 SEA Games. Yet, till today the detailed accounts have not been made public.

In 2018, I asked on my blog Foul! how much was actually spent on the Podium Programme. No one has been forthcoming.

And I’m still waiting for the detailed report by the Podium Programme Enhancement Task Force.

Why should all these documents be made public? Because it is of public interest and involves taxpayers’ money. It will also serve as a learning curve to ensure sports administrators do not constantly reinvent the wheel.

However, certain quarters behave as though these documents are listed under the Official Secrets Act. The only ‘secret’ they have is the fear of their inadequacies being exposed.

Let’s zero in on the Podium Programme Enhancement Task Force. It comprised senior sports administrators and former athletes, who gathered views from 30-odd people including this writer and were given six weeks to complete the report.

The members of the task force presented their views to Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican last September.

It’s been close to six months since. And there have not been any updates.

Is it because:

  • of the hard-hitting 23 executive summaries highlighting severe leadership and management woes which certain quarters cannot stomach?
  • the task force recommended the realignment of staff from government agencies?
  • the task force suggested that a forensic audit be conducted on the Podium Programme audit report?

If the ministry is not interested in carrying out sweeping reforms, then it’s best that it does not set up any more committees or task forces for merely wanting to be seen as doing something.

As I wrote on Jan 4, the political instability and looming general election will further disrupt any plans to dissect and improvise the Podium Programme. It’s becoming clear no one has the political will to make the necessary changes.

Also, no one has until today revealed the amount National Sports Council spent on legal fees just to protect the tiger-stripe national jersey which was quickly replaced.

And for the record, I’m not looking forward to any blueprint involving sports scheduled to be revealed next month.

Because I know we will eventually grow tired of waiting for the grand plans to ever be implemented.