September 6, 2016
Asistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah wants to tackle sports politics heads on before it causes further damages to sports.
He claimed some sports associations had too much politics to the extent smothering the growth of sports which they were representing.'
“So this time round, we need to do a lot of 'spring cleaning' to make sure the associations are good and the centre(s) of excellence...(are) in the right place," he quoted by a local English daily.
The assistant minister was delivering his speech at the closing of the Sibu Open Track & Field Championship at Stadium Tun Zaidi in Sibu last Sunday.
He also said: "We also do not want to have athletes who are not supposed to be representing but were chosen over the better ones, whether it is in swimming, athletics or in any other sports.
This is why it is important for us to really focus in preparing ourselves in whatever tournament we are focusing if we want to cement our reputation as sport powerhouse.”
Abdul Karim also admitted that he was actually very disappointed that Sarawak failed to clinch the SUKMA overall title this year.
“But there was nothing much I can do as I was only appointed chef-de-mission less than a month before Sukma," he said, adding he didn't have much leeway to do anything because "at that time, all the arrangements were more or less settled.”
The assistant minister, however, was confident that Sarawak could capture the SUKMA overall title in 2018.
In order to accomplish that, he said there was a need for re-focusing and re-building teams.
He also said the he noticed Sibu seemed to be excelled in sports like swimming, rugby, volleyball, athletics (field events).
He opinionated there must be something special about the way and the approach that Sibu people looks towards sports.
On the Sibu Open, Abdul Karim praised Sibu Amateur Athletics Association (SAAA) for organising the popular event which helps in developing athletes in the state.
“There must be good competition, not just one competition but a series of competition the whole year round.
That is why if you want to develop good sportsman and good athlete in track and field, you must have lots of tournament to be held all over Sarawak throughout the year,” he advised.
He gave the example of Sarawak being overall champion in the MSSM national schools athletics championships for many years.
He later announced a RM10,000 grant for SAAA. -@ybkarimsays