Monday, March 1

Minister wants end to politicking in sports


Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING: Any athlete who wish to excel in sports will get the best support from Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports and the State government.

And it doesn’t matter which association or body he or she is from.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the government wants to see sports growing and not politicking in the sports associations.

“I have stated my stand clearly in a swimming tournament last year that I do not want to see politicking in swimming and I thought there were no more problems in swimming,” said Karim who was referring to a swimming association being stopped from competing in a state swimming meet last year.

“But I just come to know that there still seems to be some problems whereby Power Aquatics Swimming Club (PASC) have   expressed their unhappiness in the papers recently.

“These Power Aquatic athletes who have been performing quite well in certain tournaments have been barred or not given the proper sanction from Asas to compete in a national junior meet in Melaka,” Karim told reporters yesterday after presenting the state colours to the Sarawak wushu team bound for Penang to compete in the National Wushu Championships this weekend.

It was learnt that PASC captured 19 gold, 15 silver and 23 bronze medals to emerge overall champions of the ASUM/NSC/Milo Junior Splash 2nd Leg at Hang Jebat Aquatics Centre in Melaka.

They also finish third overall in the ASUM/NSC/Milo Junior Splash 1st Leg.

“Power Aquatics are also assisted by the Sarawak Sports Corporation and the State government. We want to see any athlete who wish to excel in their sport be given the best support.

“Those who think that they have control over the athletes and the associations, decide who to go and who not to go to swimming meets and things like that should resign.

“We don’t need this kind of characters in sports associations. You are killing the sport and frustrating the young athletes who want to excel and do well for the state and hopefully be able to represent the state or nation in the future,” he said without naming any names.

“The athletes’ parents also hoping for them to go up and we don’t want them to be frustrated because of all these stupid things created by very selfish officials like they are not affiliated, they are not sanctioned.

“The government is not very happy about it. They (selfish officials) should step down or else I will come in as the Minister to put aside these bodies or we will directly deal with Asum  (Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia),” Karim warned.