A MINI sports complex will be built in each district nationwide to address the issue of loitering among youths.
Youth and Sports Ministry parliamentary secretary S. Vigneswaran said the complexes, estimated to cost RM2mil each, would be located in areas where the problem was most rampant.
Winding up the debate on the Supplementary Supply Bill, he also said the ministry was looking at the possibility of setting up sports academies in all states under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
He added that the ministry would implement pilot projects in Kepala Batas, Pekan and Tenggara before deciding on the proposal to set up over 400 sports academies nationwide.
Responding to Mohamad Shahrum Osman (BN - Lipis) who objected to having sports academies in every state, noting that there were sports schools in Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar, Vigneswaran said the proposal was to address the problem in the selection of coaches.
Vigneswaran pointed out that since sports schools was under the Education Ministrys jurisdiction, retired athletes who did not have degree qualifications were not allowed to become coaches.
Mohamad Shahrum proposed that both ministries discuss with the Public Services Department on how to make use of existing sports schools.
He suggested that the Government introduce a special scheme to select qualified coaches based on their experience in the field apart from their paper qualifications.
Ismail Sabri Yaakob (BN - Bera) urged the Government to send local coaches for overseas training instead of hiring foreign coaches and paying them high salaries.
Dr Wee Ka Siong called on the ministry to give a new lease of life to Rakan Muda programmes while Abdul Fatah Harun (PAS - Rantau Panjang) proposed that religious values be included in the programmes.