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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz ticked off MP Ong Kian Ming today for dragging the tourism and culture ministry he oversees into a controversy surrounding the cancelled Malaysia Marathon 2017.
The DAP lawmaker said Nazri and his colleague Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin owed a public explanation on the cancellation of the race scheduled for October 1, claiming they were both listed as the “organisers of the Malaysia Marathon (together with DBKL and Wisdom Sports (M) Sdn Bhd)”.
“What has the cancellation got to do with my ministry. We are merely facilitating the event.
“Get his facts right,” Nazri told news portal Free Malaysia Today in response to Ong’s statement earlier today.
Nazri was reported saying yesterday that the race had been an initiative by the government of China and was cancelled due to the organiser’s failure to ensure a target 5,000 Chinese participation.
In his statement, Ong asserted that other more established races would be challenged to ensure a 5,000 foreign participation and questioned if the ministers had taken the welfare of local runners into consideration.
He also asserted that the last-minute cancellation announced earlier this week has tarnished Malaysia’s reputation in organising such events.
A statement posted on the website and Facebook page of the event organiser ― Wisdom Sports ― said that it cancelled the marathon due to “unforeseen circumstances which would have impacted the overall event quality”.
The statement added the company would refund the fees paid by participants within 30 days of the cancellation.
The company requested those who had registered for the event to send an email to them if they did not receive their refund by October 15.