Syed Saddiq defends PPBM members' appointments in official sports roles

Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman speaks during a forum on conflict of interest in Kuala Lumpur February 21, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman speaks during a forum on conflict of interest in Kuala Lumpur February 21, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman today defended the appointment of members from his political party Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM) youth wing for official roles as coordinators of sports development in Malaysia.

Syed Saddiq, the youth and sports minister, reportedly said there was a “misunderstanding” on the 13 PPBM Youth members being given the positions of state sports development coordinators.

“Firstly, under the ministry, we have more than 4,000 staff and for me to know the political affiliations of every single person would be impossible,” the PPBM Youth chief was quoted saying by news portal Malaysiakini.

Syed Saddiq reportedly highlighted that the lack of knowledge of each individual staff’s political inclination had resulted in situations such as a member from political rival party Umno recently being attached to him under the Perdana Fellowship programme.

According to Malaysiakini, Syed Saddiq said he had not acted or discriminated ministry staff from opposition political parties such as Umno and PAS, explaining that the recent appointments of the 13 individuals was similar.

“So, this is the same in this case. As long as the (application) process has been followed, that is the best way,” he was reported saying, stressing the desire to ensure that all parties are treated fairly.

An August 19 letter purportedly from the National Sports Council had appeared on social media recently, with the letter stating that the council had so far appointed 13 officers for 13 states (excluding Sarawak) to coordinate sports programmes and development in the respective states, especially for paralympic sports.

A list that was shared on social media showed the names of the 13 officers for 12 states and Kuala Lumpur.

Questions were subsequently raised over the 13 individuals’ appointments, due to their political affiliations.

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