The subject of sports attire in Malaysia once again hogs the spotlight, this time concerning athletes who will be participating in the 2028 Malaysia Games (Sukma), hosted by Pas-led Kelantan.
The Youth and Sports Ministry’s Sports Matching Grant (GPS) has helped less popular sports in Malaysia, and is indirectly strengthening the sports ecosystem and industry in the Southeast Asian nation.
Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh is eager to speak to the Local Government Development Ministry to create more recreational spaces, especially in Kuala Lumpur. Her ministry is also looking at offering parents tax incentives for sending their kids for structured sports training.
Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh says she will meet Housing and Local Government Minister Nga Kor Ming tomorrow to discuss the plight of gymnasium operators who are subjected to high premise licence fees compared to other businesses, especially in Kuala Lumpur.
The recent trip to Japan by several Malaysian sports officials reaffirmed the fact that the Southeast Asian nation has to revamp its sports ecosystem. But it remains unclear if the lessons learnt will translate into reality.
Representatives from the Youth and Sports Ministry should give sports associations and athletes the room to make their own decisions and be accountable for them, instead of “interfering”, or be seen to be doing so.
The lack of clarity over the RM324 million allocated for sports in Malaysia raises eyebrows. However, the foundation that looks into the welfare of national athletes will receive RM5 million while sponsors of grassroots sports development will get tax breaks in Malaysia’s Budget 2023.
Government funds are often given to youth and sports bodies, with no auditing carried out to determine if the monies were used for the intended purpose. In the spirit of transparency and accountability, it is time for the powers-that-be to justify every taxpayers’ ringgit spent.
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.