KUALA LUMPUR: Sports associations have described the RM193mil allocation by the government as the right tonic to boost the ailing fortunes of Malaysian sports.
On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also the head of the Cabinet Committee for Sports, made the announcement to a warm reception from the sports fraternity in the country.
The funding included RM68mil for the eight core sports athletics, badminton, bowling, squash, aquatics (swimming and diving), hockey, football and gymnastics.
Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) acting president First Admiral Datuk Danyal Balagobal said the announcement was most encouraging and positive, especially to carry out the development programmes.
We can now concentrate on instituting our programmes effectively unlike in previous years where we had to largely depend on handouts from sponsors to carry out such programmes, said Danyal.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) Finance and Administration Manager Ahmad Idris said BAM view the move very positively as development programmes can commence without any hitches due to financial constraints.
There have been times when grassroots development projects were held back due to lack of funds but with the government coming in to support, associations can breathe easy, he said.
Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) secretary Sidney Tung described the move as the most significant by the government to boost sports in the country.
The funding will certainly benefit sports as a whole and drive the sports administrators in the country to strive harder for excellence, said Sidney.
The associations also welcomed the decision to reward Olympic medal winners with monthly allowances ranging from RM1,000 a month for a bronze medal to RM3,000 for a gold.
Such incentives will act as an inspiration for athletes to strive for excellence through commitment and dedication, said Malaysian Gymnastics Federation secretary N. Shanmugarajah. Bernama