RM7mil needed to fix sports complex

Untrimmed grass and garbage can be seen at the compound of the Seberang Prai City Council’s Sports and Recreational Complex in Jalan Betek, Bukit Mertajam.

THE Seberang Prai City Council is still waiting for an allocation from the Youth and Sports Ministry to refurbish its dilapidated MBSP Sports and Recreational Complex in Jalan Betek, Bukit Mertajam.

MBSP secretary Rosnani Mahmod said the council had submitted an application for RM7mil from the ministry to refurbish and upgrade the 13-year-old complex, including returfing the field.

“We have applied for allocation to upgrade the synthetic running track, install floodlights around the field and replace the grass on the field with a synthetic turf, among other works.

“We are still waiting for an official response from the ministry,” she said in a statement.

According to Rosnani, the council spends about RM841,000 annually in maintenance of the complex, which was open on Aug 15, 2006.

She said the council was also studying ways to improve safety on the walking track outside the complex perimeter that runs through the car park.

The proposed upgrading work, she noted, would take into consideration the safety of users and flow of vehicles in the parking area.

Rosnani said the available synthetic track inside the complex was closed to the public as it is reserved for athletes to conduct training.

“The synthetic track inside the complex is the only running track used by the Penang Sports Council to train its athletes from the mainland.

“So the track has to be in good condition and is not open for the public to increase its lifespan,” she said.

Meanwhile, Rosnani said the state is currently building a hockey stadium opposite the main complex building near the food court as well as a separate gym building.

“Construction of the hockey stadium started in December 2017 and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

“However, progress is currently behind schedule,” she said.

Yesterday, StarMetro reported on the poor condition of the complex which has missing drain covers, untrimmed grass and garbage on the ground.

A room in front of the complex used to store a fire hose reel and fire extinguisher was found to be filled with plastic bottles, brooms and a toilet bowl seat cover.

Patches of barren soil were also spotted on the football field inside the complex.

Users of the track outside the complex lamented the lack of safety in its design as a stretch of it runs into the car parking space without safety barriers in place.

Some visitors also took to social media to voice their grouses on the maintenance of a mini theme park for children beside the main complex.

One of the posts on Facebook showed photos of rusty pillars and broken tiles in the pool.

On July 21, the Youth and Sports Ministry hosted its Fit Malaysia event at the complex, which drew 25,000 participants.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who was present at the event, had announced that the ministry was looking into upgrading the complex.

He said the ministry was waiting for a report to determine the extent of damage and requirements before providing funds.

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