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Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 8:47:00 PM
Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 8:49:54 PM
by rajes paul
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin presenting a torch replica to Daniel Lee at the launch of the Asia Para Games in Bukit Jalil. Looking on are Olympic Council of Malaysia president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar (standing, extreme right) and Malaysian Paralympic Council president Datuk Zainal Abu Zarin (next to Tunku Imran).
SERI KEMBANGAN: It was a long and tiring day for Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on Saturday but he was still wearing a huge smile.
Khairy, who attended four back-to-back youth and sports functions on Saturday, was pleased as punch with the Government’s increase of RM16mil for his ministry under Budget 2014 announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Friday.
“I extend my appreciation to our PM for increasing the allocation for the Youth and Sports Ministry by RM16mil. I am personally very happy about it. Last year, our total approved allocation was RM754mil,” said Khairy after officiating the last event on his packed itinerary on Saturday at the Malaysia Sports Trend and Games Expo at the Mines Convention Centre.
For sports alone, RM239mil was allocated to pursue excellence in sports, including the upgrading of sports complexes and existing facilities; honing the skills of potential coaches and establishing the Talent Identification Programme.
“We will channel part of it for athletes’ preparations for major events (2014 Asian Games in Incheon, 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and 2016 Rio Olympic Games). It will also go towards running all our sports programmes and grooming more coaches.
“A huge bulk will also go for our new blueprint on the national football development, which will be launched by our PM in December. We will require more coaches under this programme.”
In addition, the National Sports Institute (NSI) under the Ministry also received a big boost when the Government allocated RM150mil to the Sports Trust Fund to develop elite sports, medical treatment and research.
“The Talent Identification Programme will come under the NSI and naturally, they will be given more money to run it. We also received confirmation that all 61 staff of the NSI will no longer work under contract. They have been given security of tenure as permanent staff. I am sure this will make Dr Ramlan (Aziz) really happy,” he said.
Khairy was also singing sweet praises for the Government’s decision to scrap the sugar subsidy.
“I am personally happy with the decision. Let us lead a healthy life. We are known as one of the champions in diabetes and heart disease. Let us be known as the champions in cultivating good sporting values,” he said.
By cultivating a healthy sporting culture at all levels, Khairy is hoping that more sponsors would step in and make sports a thriving industry in the nation.
“I also hope that Malaysians will be involved in sports and not be mere sports fans and critics. When (world No. 1 men’s singles shuttler) Lee Chong Wei lost at the Denmark Open recently, many were quick to say that he is old. Whether it is badminton, squash or football, let us unite and support them whether they win or lose.”
Meanwhile, Khairy, who also launched the Asia Para Games in Bukit Jalil, with an overwhelming participation of 30 countries, added that a special programme will be launched to reach out to paralympic athletes.
“We have elite programmes for paralympians but there is nothing for them at the lower level. We will create grassroots programmes for them, too. It is important that able-bodied and disabled athletes be given equal treatment,” added the Sports Minister.
Tags / Keywords:
Budget 2014, Khairy Jamaluddin, Youth and Sports Ministry, National Sports Institute, NSI
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