More money to be invested into sports - PM

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak give his speech during incentive awards ceremony for olympic and paralympics medalist at St. Regis, Kuala Lumpur. FAIHAN GHANI/The Star.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has promised that more money will be pumped into sports.

Najib was clearly delighted with the achievements of the national athletes in the recent Olympics (in August) and Paralympics (in September) in Rio de Janeiro.

“Their achievement in Rio is an inspiration to all Malaysia, which is difficult to forget,” Najib said after handing out cash incentives to the athletes and coaches at a hotel here on Saturday.

“The athletes have a strong self-belief and never gave up in their respective sports to win the medals.

“They made the whole nation proud by giving their best to win the medals.

“They are a big inspiration to all Malaysians and we will invest more money in sports.

“I will reveal this during the National Budget (on Oct 21).”

Malaysian athletes did well to win four silvers and one bronze in the Rio Olympics. It was the country’s best-ever outing in the Games.

The Paralympians, however, went one better by winning three golds and a bronze. They even shattered two world and one Paralympic records along the way.

Najib said that the government appreciated the athletes’ sacrifices and performances at the Games and that explains why they are giving out more than RM7mil to the athletes and coaches.

“We should not be satisfied with our achievements. The athletes must strive to do much better in the next Olympics and Paralympics in 2020,” said Najib.

“We should also focus more on sport science as it helps us to produce quality athletes.”

He also called on parents to play their part by encouraging their children to take up sports.

“Parents must take their children to stadiums so that their kids can get involved in sports,” said Najib, who added that he does not want to see politics in sports associations.

“The officials should not be fighting to win positions in sports associations, instead they must make their respective sports more progressive.

“I also hope to see more corporate firms coming forward to sponsor our athletes. The media also should play its part in making sports a success,” he added.

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