KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 (Bernama) — Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin wants the athletics and swimming unions to work with the National Sports Council (NSC) to focus on establishing Malaysia as a powerhouse in the region for both sports.
Khairy who urged the NSC to carry out a post-mortem to analyse the drop in performance of both sports, including at the just concluded Myanmar SEA Games, wants special programmes to be initiated for the development of both sports.
“I do not want to elaborate on what has happened. As the Youth and Sports Minister I want to look forward and find ways to restore Malaysia as a regional powerhouse,” he said in his Facebook posting, today.
He said among steps to be taken by the NSC would be to increase development programmes at state and district levels to identify talent as well as improve the quality of coaches through the National Coaching Academy and engage foreign expertise for certain events.
Khairy also expressed his disappointment for the dismal performance of sepak takraw and badminton that have been iconic sports in the country.
“I have also announced NSC’s preparedness to assist the Sepaktakraw Association of Malaysia (PSM) in efforts to ‘rescue’ the sport. I hope they (PSM) will work with the NSC to introduce special programmes aimed at winning the gold medal at the 2017 SEA Games that Malaysia will be hosting,” he said.
Khairy said though the Malaysian contingent had surpassed the 40-gold medal target set for the Myanmar SEA Games by winning 43 gold, 38 silver and 75 bronze medals, in reality though Malaysia finished in fifth place behind perennial powerhouse Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia.
The Sports Minister also applauded the success of the back up squad athletes who managed to win nine gold, four silver and 12 bronze medals, the highest in the history of their participation in the games.
“I have asked the NSC to increase the number of programmes involving back up squad athletes so that we need not be burdened to look for replacement when elite athletes are not available or when they decide to retire,” he said.