Syed Saddiq vows to ensure holistic development of sports

Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman speaks to athletes during a visit to the National Sports Council in Bukit Jalil August 8 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman speaks to athletes during a visit to the National Sports Council in Bukit Jalil August 8 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 18 ― Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has denied claims that his ministry was only concerned with e-Sports, ignoring the welfare of other national athletes.

According to him, the allegations were incorrect and that the ministry was trying its best to focus on all parties to ensure the holistic development of sports in the country.

“I honestly do not understand (the allegations) because KBS did not even get the allocation for e-Sports, the one that got it was MDEC (Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation), an agency under another ministry (Ministry of Communications and Multimedia).

“For the National Sports Council (MSN) for example, the RM280 million allocation for this year is for existing sports, such as traditional and high-performance sports categorised as part of the Olympic Games and other competitions,” he said when asked to comment on criticisms against him, including that of a national athlete who claimed he only paid attention to e-Sports.

On the allegations by national disc thrower Muhammad Irfan Shamsuddin against him via Instagram yesterday that he had played a part in the dismissal of the former’s coach Frantisek Petrovic and in turning down his application to train alone overseas, Syed Saddiq said his ministry would find the best solution to the issue. 

Syed Saddiq said he did not understand the actions of the 23-year-old athlete who made the allegations without using the right channels, besides the fact the issue only involved Muhammad Irfan, MSN and the Malaysian Athletics Federation.

“I have checked with KBS, he (Muhammad Irfan) has never requested to meet me. I got a notice from MAF and MSN that their last meeting with him was on Tuesday.

“The discussion has not yet been completed, it is still ongoing, and out of the blue, the blame was put on me, but I accept it (criticism) with an open heart. According to information (I received) from MSN and MAF, he himself wanted to change his coach, whereby he had travelled to Europe searching for one.

“When he proposed the new coach to MSN and MAF on Tuesday, they asked for some time (to review) because they did not recognise the coach’s ability,” he said.

On Muhammad Irfan’s request to train overseas, Syed Saddiq said MSN and MAF were of the view that training in the Czech Republic was not appropriate at this time of the year due to the winter season there, besides the fact the proposal submitted was incomplete. ― Bernama