OCM Trust Fund becomes sports associations’ trusted friend

The idea of setting up a trust fund by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) a decade ago has today benefited 30 sports associations which have been financially hit because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This week, 23 OCM ordinary members and seven associate members will receive a total of RM265,000 under the council’s Covid-19 Special Relief Fund.

The concept of trust funds, however, is not new in the Malaysian sporting scene. In the late 90s, the Tan Sri Alex Lee Athletes Education Fund was established following the passing of Tan Sri Alex Lee – a well-known politician and tireless sports patron.

Formed in 1953 as the Federation of Malaya Olympic Council, the organisation had less than $100,000. However, OCM grew by leaps and bounds and thanks to the former office bearers, the council’s net total assets stood at RM73.8 million in 2010.

OCM, then under the leadership of Negri Sembilan prince Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar, believed that money derived from sports must go back to sports and athletes.

Referring to similar trust funds in the US and Australia, the establishment of a RM10 million OCM Trust Fund and the Trust Deed were approved at OCM’s 153rd Council meeting on July 25, 2009.

OCM will be represented by three of its office bearers – the president, deputy president and the honarary treasurer – and three members of the public – Prof Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee, Datuk Krishnan Tan Boon Seng and Datuk Syed Moheeb Syed Kamarulzaman who were appointed during the 156th OCM Council Meeting on April 24, 2010.

The first meeting of the Trust Management Committee was held on June 2, 2010. Perpetual Trustees Berhad, an associate company of ING Group incorporated in 2005 was the ‘Trust Company’ of the OCM Trust Fund.

The objectives of the OCM Trust Fund among others, are to promote sports and its development, to aid institutions for the promotion of sports, to provide incentives and awards to athletes, coaches and officials who have contributed to sports and the provide for the welfare of deserving and needy national athletes or former athletes for have served the country.

Thanks to the foresight of the then committee, the OCM Trust Fund is now being put to good use. And it is imperative that current and future office bearers continue to build their coffers and be the much-needed lifeline for key stakeholders in sports to continue advocating, promoting and developing sports in the nation regardless of the external challenges that may arise from time to time.