Towards a nation of couch potatoes

It was a normal morning on Thursday, as many national sports association leaders made their way towards the National Sports Council to be briefed by the Sports Minister and the National Sports Council Director General on the direction of sports under the leadership of Pakatan Harapan.

Many were in their “Sunday’s best” as this was the first time that they get to come face to face with the “ Youth Power” Sports Minister Syed Sadiq.

Ever since being appointed to the position on July 2, the Minister or his deputy Steven Sim had yet to hold a close door meeting with the stakeholders of sports in the country, with many writing in to seek appointments but never even got a reply.

Hence this was their opportunity to “ spar” with the Minister, to exchange ideas with a debate champion, to listen to his policies, wisdom and direction of sports as we head towards the third decade of the century.

Alas their dreams and aspirations went up in smoke, or in sporting terms, the starters gun never really went off, as they were left hanging, instead being briefed by an Acting Head of a Department in NSC, not even the NSG DG or his two deputy director generals.

Syed Sadiq and Ahmad Shapawi were in a meeting prior to this scheduled briefing but both , it is said, went off to attend a conference in Singapore.

Now if the conference in Singapore was important, then why schedule such an important briefing on this day.

Ok let’s leave that to that and address the issue at hand.

Those at the briefing were dumbfounded, shocked and thrown into oblivion when they were briefed that the entire Budget for sports in the country, from the perspective of the Ministry of Youth and Sports was a meagre RM100 million, yes that’s right, 100 million.

Something must have been wrong with our ears last Friday or the microphones at Parliament when Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that from the allocation for the Ministry of Youth and Sports, RM100MIL was for allocated towards winning our first gold medal at Olympics in 2020.

At the same time, the harshest critic of Najib Razak went in to announce a RM10 million allocation for E Sports.

Now correct me if I am wrong, a total of RM1 billion was allocated to KBS ( not for kasut, baju, Seluar) but the Ministry itself to manage its youth and sporting activities .

Taking away RM10 million for E Sports and RM100MIL million for blood, sweat and tears sports would leave the Ministry with RM890 million.

Now can Syed Sadiq care to explain where the balance will be spent, how did he derive a figure of RM100MIL million for sports.

For the benefit of the readers, below is the financial report of NSC as tabled to the Parliament and once can clearly see the allocation for sports over the years.

Compared to 2016, where RM218 million was allocated, it is a reduction of more then 50 per cent.

So what is “ A way forward” , the paper tabled by the NSC in the briefing and another series of orchestrated “ Bengkel” they intend to hold on November 14.

It’s simple, a complete overhaul of the NSC and ISN must be held with the resignations if the TOP brass of NSC/ISN as well as the Board Members If both the agencies.

They have failed in their duty to safeguard the interest of sports and having failed in providing the duty of care for sports, it’s honourable for them to vacate their positions.

And to the parents out there whose kids aspire to represent our beloved nation in the field of spirts, start caning them and keep them away, instead of having a nation of champions, let’s produce a nation of obesity, couch potatoes and those who laze around in a bathtub.

That’s our new sports vision and mission, to hell with winning medals, it’s votes that matter.

If yes, before I forget, let’s blame Najib for all this as well since it’s his fault when anything goes wrong.