Former OCM stalwart Kok Chi hopes wind of change will blow in sports

PETALING JAYA: Sports people need to speak up!

This is the change that long-serving official Datuk Sieh Kok Chi hopes to see under the administration of the new Youth and Sports Minister.

The recent change of government from Barisan Nasional to Pakatan Harapan will see a new minister appointed to helm the ministry.

“The core sports stakeholders should suggest thoughts and ideas to improve the current sports system. Their voices must be heard,” said the 80-year-old Kok Chi, who ended his 25-year tenure as an office-bearer with the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) on May 4.

He was referring to athletes, officials from National Sports Associations and former greats.

“This is the best opportunity for our sports family to stand up for themselves. They should be given the room and space to do what is good for their respective sports.

“What we see in sports is a reflection of our society too. We’ve seen the good and bad all these years in sports.

“We need to restore fairness, good governance and ways to reap success and sustainability.”

Kok Chi said the Sports Ministry has evolved over time but despite changes after changes in leadership and policies, the involvement of government officials and huge financial investments, Malaysia has yet to produce an Olympic Games gold medallist, is still left behind in the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and is still struggling with their development programmes.

“It’s time that younger people are given the chance to make a difference. The power of youth brought changes in our political scene. It can be the same in sports,” he said.

“Under the new government, we may have a minister with a new direction and good ideas. It’ll be good to try something new,” said Kok Chi.

Sports Minister , Datuk Sieh Kok Chi