Monthly rewards for Olympic medallists


By SA’ODAH ELIAS

PUTRAJAYA: An Olympic gold medallist will earn RM3,000 a month for life from the Government. This is in addition to the lump sum of RM160,000 under the National Sports Council’s (NSC) current reward scheme. 

The Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, announced after chairing the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Sports Development at his office here yesterday that the supplementary allowance would take effect immediately after an athlete has won a medal. 

A sum of RM1,500 will be paid out monthly to a silver medallist while a bronze medallist will receive RM1,000. The lump sum reward for the silver and the bronze is RM80,000 and RM40,000 respectively. 

Najib said that there would be no multiple payouts for athletes who won more than one medal and the sum would be for the higher achievement. 

However, he said that there would be other rewards for the multiple medal winner and it would be worked out later. 

Najib added that past medallists would also receive the allowance and it would take effect from January next year. But there would be no backdated payment. 

Five athletes – all from badminton – are eligible to receive the payment. They are Razif and Jalani Sidek (the bronze medallists at the 1992 Barcelona Games); Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock (silver medallists at the 1996 Atlanta Games) and Rashid Sidek (the bronze medallist in Atlanta). 

Najib also said that the Government had approved an allocation of RM193mil for the development of sports in the country, including RM125mil for the “sports for the masses”. 

He said RM30mil from the allocation would be used to develop the eight core sports – aquatics (swimming and diving), athletics, badminton, bowling, football, gymnastics, hockey and squash. 

The remaining RM38mil would be to develop the high performers in the eight core sports. 

In addition, Najib said that the Government had approved the setting up of an Athletes’ Welfare Fund, with an initial allocation of RM1mil. 

The fund, he said, would provide assistance to athletes who faced financial difficulties. 

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