The Ministry of Youth and Sports has recently came under fire for dropping 144 national athletes, including some of those who have made history for Malaysia in highest level competitions, due to the lack of funding.
Among the victims of this downsizing were Malaysia’s first diving world champion Cheong Jun Hoong and former squash world No. 5, Low Wee Wern, who got fired from their full time contracts.
Meanwhile, it was reported that these athletes were not given any warnings, nor any discussions were carried out before the National Sports Council (NSC) axes them.
As expected, many had openly voiced out against the decision and one of them being the former Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Steven Sim, where he said the government should remove incompetent ministers and deputy ministers instead of dropping the 144 athletes!
In a statement, he said the salaries of such ministers and deputies are more than adequate to accommodate the return of athletes in their sports training programmes.
“This is better than dropping athletes who have served the country for so long without any lucrative reward.” he said.
Meanwhile, he also claimed that the Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu had lied to the Dewan Rakyat when he previous raised the matter in Parliament back in November 2021, as he gives assurance that these that athletes would not be neglected.
“Clearly, the minister had lied in Parliament when just a month after that, a total of 144 athletes were dropped from the national sports training programme,”
“This has treated our national athletes as if they were ‘disposable tools’ that can be removed at any time just like that.” he said.
He added that athletes should be given post-career assurance in sports so that they can focus fully on achieving excellence in sports.
What do you think about Sim’s statement? Share your thoughts!