PUTRAJAYA, July 30 — Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman still wants to keep the gold medal target for the country’s contingent at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang a secret until the handing over of the Jalur Gemilang to the contingent on Aug 10.
He said the event would be launched by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the Prime Minister’s Department (JPM).
“I am always asked about this ... Patience ... Wait We will be organising the Jalur Gemilang handing over ceremony to the national contingent on Aug 10 in JPM, I think there is an appropriate forum to divulge it (medal target) , “he told reporters at his office today.
Malaysia is expected to send over 400 athletes, the biggest contingent in the history of Malaysia’s participation in the world’s second-largest sport. The 2018 Asian Games would take place from Aug 18 to Sept 2.
For the record, Malaysia’s biggest contingent to the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China was 325 athletes.
Meanwhile, Syed Saddiq said the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) should continue to pay full attention to football development at the grassroot despite getting a ‘green light’ to use naturalised players’ service in the Harimau Malaya squad.
He said he welcomed Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s decision to allow FAM to use naturalised players to improve the deteriorating performance of the national team.
However, at the same time, Syed Saddiq reminded that the country’s parent football body should not set aside football development plan at the grassroots level so that talent development could continue. — Bernama