PETALING JAYA: Yet another sporting facility built at a cost of millions of ringgit has been neglected and in a disgraceful state.
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman made a surprise visit to the Mokhtar Dahari Academy in Gambang, Pahang on Thursday (Oct 4) afternoon and was left disappointed by what he saw.
An empty gym and broken down hydrotherapy room in a building completed just two years ago left him in dismay.
The basic needs of the recruits are neglected.
The Mokhtar Dahari Academy was built under the National Football Development Programme at a cost of RM85mil and was supposed to help produce world-class football players.
It received its first group of students in April this year, comprising 185 students from Form One to Four.
"I am disappointed. This academy was supposed to spark the development of Malaysian football but it is broken now and most of its facilities unable to be used.
"Even the basic facilities are not adequate. The players complain that their rooms are like ovens. The food in their old school is better than what they are given and they even have to smuggle in their own food because they are hungry.
"Balls for practise, jerseys and boots are not enough, there is leaking water everywhere and an empty gym as well as broken down hydrotherapy and performance analysis rooms.
"This RM85mil project is a disappointment.
"I take this seriously. I will take the necessary steps to handle this problem for the sake of the future of Malaysian football," said Syed Saddiq in a Facebook post.
The Mokhtar Dahari Academy was launched in 2014 by prime minister at that time Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and was touted as a five-star academy.