PETALING JAYA: The recent appointment of 13 new officers in the Youth and Sports Ministry is a politically motivated move by its minister, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, to garner support ahead of party polls, says Parti Ikatan Malaysia's (Ikatan) Youth wing.
Its chief Shahir Adnan claimed the 13 newly appointed Grade 29 state sports development coordinators were all Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Armada leaders, who also held division and state party positions.
Shahir alleged that the appointments were made by the Youth and Sports Minister in an effort to garner grassroots support as the Bersatu party polls drew closer.
"When political appointments are made, the focus of these appointees is to maintain their positions, not the achievements in national sport.
"Ikatan youth assumes that these political appointments were made as Bersatu is about to hold party elections and Syed Saddiq wants to garner state grassroots support."
In a statement issued Wednesday (Aug 21), Shahir questioned Syed Saddiq over the process of the appointments as well as the qualifications of the 13 officers.
"Where is the transparency that was preached by the Pakatan Harapan Government before the 14th General Election?"
Shahir said many youths, who are passionate about sports, were "queuing" up to apply for this position.
"While the pledge to provide one million job opportunities with a minimum salary of RM2,500 looks dim, it seems that Syed Saddiq is trying to confuse the youths with the 'Go-Jek' or bike-hailing proposals."
Shahir sarcastically proposed that the appointed Armada leaders resign and instead work as Go-Jek drivers for a living.
Syed Saddiq has been the focus of criticism after a letter by the National Sports Council detailing the appointment of 13 new state sports development coordinators was posted by Negri Sembilan Youth Council president Mohd Fairos Rusli on Facebook.
Attempts to contact Syed Saddiq was futile at the time of writing.
In Bersatu's extraordinary general meeting last month, it was decided that party polls could be postponed for up to 18 months.
Bersatu chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad previously said on July 20 that the party polls might be held this year.
Bersatu has yet to hold a party election since it was founded in 2016.