|Karim (sixth right, back row), Kameri (third right), Kwon (fifth right) and Sim (standing at left) posing with the best swimmers and team managers after the prize presentation. -Photo by Teo Chi Wei|
KUCHING: Assistant Minister of Youth, Sports and Solidarity Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah feels that organisers of swimming competitions should not harbour self interests but instead look at the wider picture for the sake of swimming development in Sarawak.
“I know some people are not very happy with me for interfering with how this tournament is being managed. I am very very sorry for that but I don’t have any interest … none of my children is competing in this tournament but I just want to see swimming to grow up and I don’t want to see politics inside swimming where some people are barred from competing just because they are not the affiliates.
“The pool is a place where the swimmers can compete among themselves and win because they have trained hard for it and not win by technical knockout,” he said at the closing of the 44th Sarawak Age Group Swimming Championship at the Sarawak Aquatic Centre, Petra Jaya yesterday.
“A lot of things has happened before the start of the competition and I have to congratulate Kota Samarahan Swimming Association (Kotas) especially its president Alice Kwon for a job well done.
“I know the organising committee had to face a lot of stress as it is organised during Chap Goh Meh especially those who are celebrating the Chinese New Year,” he added.
“This is good sign for swimming in Sarawak and we at Ministry of Youth, Sports and Solidarity and MSNS would want like to see swimming developing.
“We know that Sarawak was once a powerhouse in swimming and swimming has been very closely related to Sarawak and that is why the State government has spent quite a lot of money especially to build up this aquatic centre to make sure that we are able to produce more good swimmers.
“We would want to see harmony in how swimming is being managed in Sarawak. We do know that you have got your association, we do know you have got your federation but we would want to see whether it is swimming or other sports, they must come under the purview of MSNS and the Ministry.
“We cannot allow any association to be solely independent and treat the Ministry or MSNS as outsiders.
“ASAS can have all their rules but at the end of the day it is the Ministry and MSNS who have the final say to determine how this sport is to be developed because you have to use this kind of facility as it is built by the government,” Karim said in referring to the Sarawak Aquatic Centre.
He also commended Kotas and the organising committee for successfully organising the SAG and announced a grant of RM10,000 to Kotas for organising the event.
The three-day championship to select swimmers for the National Age Group Swimming Championship saw Kotas emerging as the overall champions, with Kuching Amateur Swimming Association and the Sibu Amateur Swimming Association finishing in second and third place respectively.
Also present were permanent secretary to Ministry of Youth, Sports and Solidarity Kameri Affandi, Kotas president Alice Kwon and organising chairman Sim Guan Meng.