National athletes are now voicing out their opinions following the review conducted by the National Sports Council (NSC) on the allowances of national athletes who were given new contracts to undergo training programmes this year.
National hurdler Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian has called upon the NSC to reconsider its decision to cut the monthly allowance of athletes from RM2,000 to RM800.
In an interview with Utusan, Rayzam, who was once ranked No.2 in Asia, said it is impossible for him or any athlete to survive with a mere RM800 a month.
He also said that according to the previous criteria, winners of the 110-meter hurdles event would be given a RM2,000 allowance regardless of medal type.
“However, that has changed with gold medalists getting RM2,000 whereas silver and bronze medalists only receiving RM800.”
Rayzam won the silver medal at the 2019 Philippine SEA Games and served the country since he was 19.
He then urged the NSC to reevaluate their “drastic” allowance cut and carry it out in a more transparent manner.
“I hope the NSC has the discretion to reconsider as many athletes have managed to maintain their performance even without a gold medal.”
“If it’s RM1,500, it’s okay. But if it has dropped to RM800… might as work at McDonald’s,” he told Utusan.
Meanwhile, Rayzam also said he has to undergo training in Sabah without free accommodation and meals, unlike athletes who train at the Bukit Jalil Sports School on a scheduled basis.
“I have a family and what can I do with RM800? I now have a family to feed and electricity bills to pay.” he said, adding that the allowance cut will put a huge strain on his current financial commitments.
He also called for the NSC to be more transparent in assessing every athletes’ performance as he believed it was unfair for them to be judged based upon medal count.
Previously, The Star reported NSC director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail as saying that the allowance cuts were “necessary” due to lower allocation by the federal government.
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