KUALA LUMPUR: Khairy Jamaluddin (pic) is cool on his prospects of becoming the new president of the Paralympic Council of Malaysia (PCM) this Saturday.
The former Youth and Sports Minister announced his interest recently and is expected to vie for the top post with Malaysia Canoe Association (Masca) president Datuk Seri Megat Shahriman Zaharudin at the PCM annual general meeting.
Khairy said he felt strongly about making sure there is continuity in the Paralympic movement after the good work laid down by SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin, who is not seeking re-election.
“Nasaruddin is a good friend of mine and he informed me of his decision. He has done a great job in turning PCM around.
“There needs to be continuity with what he has achieved.
“I offer myself for this post and hope I will be given the opportunity to contribute once again to Malaysian sports,” said Khairy, who brushed aside those who questioned his late submission to contest.
“I have been the deputy president for the Malaysian Wheelchair Rugby Federation since February. I was told that I had until June 15 to submit my candidacy and not June 14 as what many thought earlier. I just want to contribute and I’m okay if the Sports Commissioner’s office wants to verify things before the AGM.
“It’s okay with me if they don’t think I’m eligible as that’s not the end of life.
“In fact, I have yet to start campaigning and I will reach out to the associations in the next few days,” added Khairy, who was instrumental in ensuring that para athletes enjoy the same recognition and incentives as able-bodied athletes.
Mohd Ridzuan Puzi (T36 100m), Ziyad Zolkefli (F20 shot putt) and Abdul Latif Romly (T20 long jump) were rewarded with a pension for life and RM1mil for their gold medal feats at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Khairy added that if elected, he will make sure para athletes have a job waiting for them when they retire.
“I also want to propose to the Education Ministry to get one of the existing sports schools in the country to accept para athletes.”