PUTRAJAYA, March 1 ― Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) is the first corporate company to channel RM40 million in total to the Malaysian contingent for a programme known as the “Team MAS” which begins this year until 2022.

Youth and Sports Minister, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said the Team MAS programme was a sponsorship initiative involving a world-class Malaysian company brand like MAB to establish a sponsorship bond with national athletes at various levels, namely, involving world-class athletes and new talents.

“Thank you to MAB for being the first sponsor to the Malaysian contingent. MAB is also the biggest contributor so far. I hope that corporate figures and other companies will also take part because all parties have a moral and social responsibility to build the national sporting landscape.

“In addition, the Team MAS programme allows every national sport asset owned by the ministry, National Sports Council (NSC) and the National Sports Institute to be developed by instilling commercial value, strengthening emotional relations between supporters and the national team and foster a national sports industry which is of commercial value,” he said at a ceremony to announce MAB as the first official friend of the Team MAS programme yesterday.

The signings of the Memorandum of Understanding between the ministry and MAB were carried out by NSC director-general, Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail and MAB group chief revenue officer, Ignatius Ong Ming Choy.

Syed Saddiq explained that the time frame of the sponsorship involved several important international championships to be participated by national athletes such as the 2019 Manila SEA Games, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, the 2022 Asian Games Hangzhou and the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

The national airline was a strong supporter of various domestic sport programme initiatives. Among the involvements of the MAB were the individual sponsorships of the national diving athletes Nur Dhabitah Sabri and Pandalela Rinong Anak Pamg and national paragliding athlete, Nadiah Wafa.

Meanwhile, MAB Group chief executive officer, Captain Izham Ismail said MAB was positive about the Team MAS programme and regarded the sponsorship as full support of the airline to the development of sports in the country.

“Like national athletes, MAB is also like an 'ambassador' which raises the Malaysian flag all over the world.

“With the use of the Team MAS as a factor of unification, we concede the support for this programme traverses racial, religious, age and cultural differences and we plan to take advantage of this collaboration to give an edge to MAB.

“We hope that this relationship, which brings mutual benefits, will not only gives strength to all the athletes, officials and organisations involved, but will also prove our commitment towards the establishment of a successful nation state,” he said. ― Bernama