PETALING JAYA, Sept 6 — Deputy Sports Minister Steven Sim has denied a news report that Malaysia’s para-athletes competing at the Asian Para Games in Jakarta on Oct 8-16 did not have any funds for official attire during the opening ceremony.
Sim said the Youth and Sports Ministry through the National Sports Council will provide the necessary attire for the contingent including the official “Malaysian Heroes” tracksuit, competition wear, official t-shirt, baggage, flight tickets and participation fees.
“It has been agreed that the contingent will wear the official ‘Malaysian Heroes’ tracksuit during the opening ceremony,” he said in a press statement today.
“The tracksuit will give more comfort to the athletes and display a sense of pride. This is also to save costs as the tracksuit will only be worn once during the opening ceremony.
“I personally discussed the matter with Paralympic Council of Malaysia deputy president John Ng,” said Sim.
The Star had reported today that the Malaysian contingent for the Para Games did not have any funds to pay for official attire to be worn during the opening ceremony.
The article quoted a source saying the athletes were told to wear only their tracksuits.
The source also said that the athletes did not have enough t-shirts and had approached several companies to get more shirts but none responded.
Sim said that during the Asian Games opening ceremony recently, the Malaysian contingent were not given an official attire to wear but the Olympic Council of Malaysia stepped in and provided the batik outfits that were worn.
“The ministry has spent RM1 million to fund the contingent for the Asian Para Games,” added Sim.
“We have assured John the ministry is always open to listen to any suggestions or problems regarding the development or welfare of our national athletes.”