PUTRAJAYA, Feb 25 — The Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) will take proactive steps by improving the Safe Sport Code to prevent any future occurrences of sports programmes being sponsored by cigarette and vape product companies.

Minister Hannah Yeoh said that KBS will not compromise on the issue as it may raise concern among various parties, especially parents who wish to send their children to participate in sports programmes.

“We are looking at amending the Safe Sport Code to include this matter (not permitting the sponsorship of cigarette and vape product companies in sports programmes), according to the Ministry of Health (MOH), as the mother act falls under its jurisdiction.

“...but as owners of sports facilities, such as futsal courts or stadiums, we have the authority to disallow (any sponsorship from cigarette or vape companies),” she told reporters after flagging off 68 participants in the men’s elite category at the Asia Triathlon Cup 2024 at the Putrajaya Water Sports Complex here today.

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The Safe Sport Code is a set of guidelines and standards for creating a safe sports environment that emphasises the roles and responsibilities of all parties in dealing with any form of harassment and abuse.

Hannah hoped that the organisers would be more ethical in their sponsorship selection, despite the fact that it is difficult to get sponsorship within the sports sector due to the high costs involved.

“It’s hard to go unnoticed on social media. Even if a sports association thinks it can get away with it, nobody will know, it’s impossible because you have so many audiences, people will take photos and videos.

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“...another issue is that allowing such sponsorship will jeopardise other sponsors because there are many sponsors that do not want to be associated with cigarettes or vape products,” she said.

Last Wednesday (Feb 21), an X user posted about the organisation of a polo tournament held from Feb 17 to 18, which received sponsorship from a vape product company.

On Jan 28, Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Adam Adli Abd Halim said through the X application that the ministry would conduct investigations into the organisation of the ‘Foodie Futbol Fest 2024’ programme, which was sponsored by a vape company. — Bernama