National athletes and sports leaders attended yet another engagement session with the newly-minted Youth and Sports Minister and her deputy. Those who have been in the scene long enough hope to see less talk, and more action, instead.
Olympic Council of Malaysia president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria said new deputy Youth and Sports Minister Adam Adli should look at his ministry first to ensure there are no leakages, and understand how sports associations are run, before making “unfair” statements.
Dressed for the role, Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh said she has no plans to introduce any new programmes until she has spoken to stakeholders.
Malaysia’s new prime minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, longs for a leaner Cabinet. The combination of several portfolios can help realise Anwar’s plan, and that of his Pakatan Harapan manifesto, as well as the objectives laid out in the National Sports Vision 2030.
A new Cabinet will be formed soon as all eyes will be on the man or woman who will helm the Youth and Sports Ministry. While often considered a junior portfolio, the ministry can be used as a platform to reach out to youths, promote unity through sports, and help chart the fortunes of Malaysian athletes.
Those within the Sports Industry Secretariat say Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu has learnt the importance of the sports industry in driving the nation’s economy. Industry players now wonder if the new minister will adopt same views.
While conversations have been about the dissolution of Parliament, exhibitors and participants of the Kuala Lumpur Sports Industry Expo, which started yesterday, are eager to network and create opportunities to get their businesses moving.
Politicians are often advised that they are much better off organising events or programmes to tick the box. However, Twentytwo13 columnist Muhammad Yunus Zakariah stresses that it’s well thought-out policies that give sports and the industry hope.
Plans to grade sporting facilities in the country have been hailed as a step in the right direction by operators. However, they wonder who will be in charge of the grading process, and insist that a comprehensive evaluation guideline, covering the different facilities, is required.
Discussions are being held to grade sports facilities in Malaysia. While talks are still in its infancy, the Youth and Sports Ministry hopes this will become a reality, to better protect the interest of consumers.
Continued efforts must be taken to speed up the collection of data related to Malaysia’s billion-ringgit sports industry to justify policies and investments.
Football star Brendan Gan and Olympian Goh Liu Ying have thrown their weight behind the proposed Safe Sport Act by the Youth and Sports Ministry, adding that athletes and officials should be given safe space to speak out against alleged abuses.
In a new initiative by the Youth and Sports Ministry, the Malaysian Sports League will be launched today in an effort to see more competitions organised at the lower levels.