Sabah govt gives incentives to successful athletes

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Hajiji (centre, seated) and guests pose with the state athletes and representatives after the presentation of incentives.

KOTA KINABALU (Dec 4): The State Government has distributed RM304,000 incentives to 54 athletes that have won medals and made the state and country proud in four major international multi-sport events this year.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor said a total of RM91,500 was given out to athletes who succeeded in the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia, RM126,000 for the 12th Para ASEAN Games also in Cambodia, RM46,500 in the 19th Asian Games and another RM40,000 for the 4th Para Asian Games, both held in Hangzhou, China.

Hajiji said the presentation of the incentive was in line with the determination and dedication showed by the athletes while at the same time to attract more youngsters in the state to take up sports.

“It is also hoped that the incentive will be a source of inspiration and encouragement for them to pursue excellence in the future, in line with the government efforts through the Youth and Sports Ministry to produce world class athletes,” Hajiji said in a statement.

He said this when delivering his speech at the ceremony to celebrate the state athletes’ achievement in the SEA Games, Para ASEAN Games, Asian Games and Para Asian Games at Dewan Bankuasi, Menara Kinabalu on Monday.

“The State Government is very proud of the state athletes’ achievement in the four major international games,” added the Chief Minister.

Having said that, Hajiji said the State Government has allocated RM27.13 million under the State Budget 2024 for the Youth and Sports Ministry to manage and develop sports industry in the state next year.

From the total allocation, RM2.08 million is for the development of mass sports, RM20 million for management and development of high performance sports under the Sabah Sports Council and RM5.05 million for sports grant.

Hajiji said the State Government will continue to provide huge allocation and consistently to the Youth and Sports Ministry to ensure that more sports activities can be implemented.

It is also to provide sports facilities and modern technologies from time to time apart from meeting the athletes’ need for efficient training condition thus able to compete at their maximum best.

“Sabah has a vision which is to produce world class athletes based on three main cores namely High Performance Sports, Sports Industry and Mass Sports.

“The State Government too always tries to get the community to be actively involved in sports in order to improve their health and fitness level,” he said.

Towards this end, Hajiji admitted he has always been closely following the development, progress and achievement of the state Youth and Sports Ministry, especially involving Sabah-born athletes.

“I am pleased to note the dedication shown by the ministry in its efforts to implement comprehensive planning for the state of Sabah,” he said.

State Secretary Datuk Seri Panglima Sr Haji Safar Untong, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ellron Angin, Assistant Minister Datuk Fairuz Renddan and Permanent Secretary Datuk Mansur Asun as well as senior sports officials, athletes and their representatives were present during the ceremony.