KUALA LUMPUR: Help is on the way to see the Flying Sikh soar again.
The Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican has agreed to help down-on-his-luck Karamjit Singh revive his rallying career and secure a job for him.
Karamjit’s financial plight came to light when he posted on Facebook that he had to sell his 16-year-old Proton Waja to buy a new car to become an e-hailing driver.
Karamjit last raced competitively two years ago and has fallen on tough times which was made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic.
After his meeting with Reezal yesterday, the 58-year-old Karamjit can now afford a smile.
“The Sports Minister has promised to secure sponsors that will enable me to race in the Asia Pacific Rally Championships (APRC) next year.
“With the help from the Sepang International Circuit and Motorsports Association of Malaysia, I’ve been offered a job as a safety driving instructor.
“I would like to thank the Sports Minister and also the National Athletes Welfare Foundation (Yakeb) for looking into my situation.
“I hope I can race in the APRC again. It costs about RM3mil to do eight rounds of the championship.
“If I can enter a full season, I plan to get a Proton Iris RS car which will be modified in England for rally use, ” said Karamjit, who added he has never fought shy from making Malaysia proud on the international stage.
Karamjit last raced in the APRC in 2012 and is Malaysia’s most decorated rally driver.
He has won a total of eight FIA-sanctioned international rally titles, including three overall APRC driver titles in 2001,2002 and 2004.
But his most cherished achievement was winning the FIA World Rally Championship for Production Car with co-driver Allen Oh in 2002 on his first attempt.
The stunning accomplishment paved the way for motorsport to achieve a first with the duo bagging the National Sportsman of the Year award.
“I have not given up on rallying despite not competing since 2018. I’m still fit and I think I want to do rallying for five more years at least.
“I still go to the gym four times a week and do hill and mountain climbing activities to stay fit, ” he added.
Meanwhile, Yakeb president Datuk Noorul Ariffin Abdul Majeed said they will also propose that Karamjit be given a pension for his contributions to the country.