VIETNAM SEA GAMES THE WORST EVER SEA GAMES IN 40 YEARS FOR MALAYSIAN - MAN UP
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA : DAP'S Steven Sim has accused youth and sports minister Ahmad Faizal Azumu of attempting to pass the buck to the athletes for the country's " Worst Performance In 40 Years " in the 2022 Vietnam SEA Games.
In a statement, the Bukit Mertajam MP said it was Faizal who should be taking the blame instead.
" The youth and sports minister has expressed his disappointed with Malaysia's low ranking in the SEA Games. This reflects the ministry's continued failure to lead the country's sports sector, " he said.
" His statement seems to show that he is blaming the athletes for this performance.
Sim's statement was in response to several news reports which quoted Faizal as expressing his disappointment with the country's performance in the regional sporting event.
Malaysia is currently in sixth place with a gold medal tally only of 39, with two (2) days left in the Vietnam SEA Games Ended. The last time Malaysia was in sixth (6) place was in 1983.
Sim, who served as the deputy youth and sports minister in the Pakatan Harapan government, said it was unfair to blame the athletes who were contesting despite a lack of funds.
He called out the ministry for slashing the budgets for participation in international tournaments by 80% in the year 2022 Budget compared to the 2018 Budget, adding that Malaysia was participating in three (3) international sports tournaments this year compared to only two in year 2018.
He also took the minister to task for stopping the training allowances for 253 athletes and drastically slashing allowances by 60% for athletes still receiving them.
" The disappointment expressed by the minister is totally unacceptable since multiple parties, including myself, have warned the ministry in the Parliament last year November that the national sports sector will face a decline due to failures of the ministry and sudden cuts in sports allowances.
" I have repeatedly given suggestions to improve the sports sector, but these were ignored by the ministry. Now, the minister is blaming the athletes for the poor performance in the Hanoi, Vietnam SEA Games," he said.
Sim demanded that Faizal apologise to all the athletes and sports fans in the country, saying that the time had come for the ministry to " admit its failures " and rebuild the sports sector with much better athlete welfare policies that would harness and retain the sports talents in the country.
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@ Jackie San