KUCHING: National athlete Buda Anchah could not contain his excitement over the promise of National Sports Incentive Scheme (Shakam) for him and fellow team-mates in recognition of their achievement at the just-concluded 10th World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championships in Chiangmai, Thailand last week.
According to this former Royal Malaysian Air Force officer, this was informed by the Malaysia Bodybuilding Federation (MBBF) honorary secretary Kamaruzaman Kadir not long after the Malaysian contingent’s arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) on Monday afternoon.
Buda was among seven national athletes who competed in the Chiangmai outing, organised World Bodybuilding and Physique Sport Federation (WBPF), where they brought home four gold medals, one silver and two bronze.
Buda collected the gold and the silver medals from the Masters (Age 40-49 Years) and Lightweight (70kg) events, respectively.
“I was touched by this news, and also the grand reception at KLIA2, especially with Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman coming to greet us.
“I was made to understand that every medal contributor in Chiangmai would receive Shakam incentive.
“It also made me very excited to hear his (Syed Saddiq’s) proposal to re-include bodybuilding in the SEA Games next year. We thank him for that,” Buda told reporters during the homecoming ceremony at Kuching International Airport (KIA) late Monday, where he and fellow comrade Dr Malvern Abdullah was welcomed by Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC) sports development division manager Ahmad Rodzli Hashim, who came on behalf of Sarawak State Sports Council (MSNS) director Dr Ong Kong Swee who is also SSC chief executive officer.
The Sarawak bodybuilders were met with loud cheer from their family members, representatives of Sarawak Bodybuilding Association (SBBA) and friends from Kelab Bina Badan Iron Hardcore Samarahan, where Buda frequently goes to train.
Buda also conveyed his gratitude to Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sport Sarawak Datuk Snowdan Lawan, Dr Ong who had been responsible in making available the assistance from MSNS and SSC to him, SBBA president Dato Wee Hong Seng for ongoing encouragement, also his family and his supporters from Iron Hardcore.
Nevertheless in view of his 25 years in this sport, Buda also expressed his hope for the Sarawak government to acknowledge the contribution by him and his comrades in bringing pride to the state.
“In my 25 years in this sport, I have proven that bodybuilding can contribute medals to Malaysia in international competitions. We have done it many times,” he said.
When contacted, Snowdan acknowledged that Buda and his fellow elite bodybuilding athletes should be given annual grant for them to compete in WBPF Asian and world championships.
“Yes, this matter has also been brought up by SBBA.
“I’m so proud of Buda and his team-mates. I believe that the request for funding is justified in that their performance in international competitions has been very consistent over the past several years.
“We need to acknowledge these high-performing athletes. We will definitely be looking into this. I will convey this subject matter to Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sport Minister of Sarawak Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah,” said Snowdan.