Podium Task Force: The Ball Literally at Ministers Feet

The Task Force that was formed to enhance the beleaguered Podium Program is expected to submit its final report to the Youth and Sports Minister Dato Sri Reezal Merican Naina Merican this Tuesday.

Set up by DS Reezal at the National Sports Council Board meeting on June 27, the Task Force headed by former NSC and NSI Director General Dato Dr. Ramlan Abdul Aziz , the Task Force formally started work in early August and cobs Cree interviews with some 38 individuals directly or indirectly connected with the Podium Program vis face to face sessions and online.

Even the foreign Consultants that had left the country cooperated with the Task Force although one or two locals refused the offer to contribute their ideas.

The question now will be to just what extent will DS Reezal take seriously the findings of the Task Force reporter?

There have been numerous attempts to downplay the effectiveness of the Task Force and to some extent damage control was initiated even before the Task Force could submit its findings. No thanks to leakages.

Sticking out like a sire thumb is the so called Projek Perintis by NSC that after Check’s revealed was not at all discussed at the NSC Board Meeting on June 27.

It is learnt that some National Sports Associations are not even aware of the existence of such a project, learning about it via the media.

Which now brings up the question of government interference in sports, a big no no if the Olympic Charter.

The NSA’s are the guardian of the sport and their role cannot be questioned or challenge.

It is the same as BSC who are merely an agency to distribute government funding for sports and not the owners of sports in the country.

After all it is RSC payers money and not from their family heirloom.

NSC often claims that it is short of money, but how is it a new program launched, be it a “ perintis” or test run program secure funding unless money being channeled from other pre approved programs.

The NFDP was initially provided with RM45 million but early this year the NSC Board moved RM15 million of the sugar tax to fund other activities.

In the name of transparency and accountability DS Reezal should ask for the accounts of the RM15 million

As a matter of fact why not NSC show their transparent nature by revealing just how much is allocated or spent for each sport!

We can start off with the four specialised development programs – the National Football Development Program, the National Hockey Development Program ( yet ti be launched though there are claims money was approved in August 2019), the Junior Cycling Malaysia Program and National Rugby Development Program.

Why is it that except for NFDP is not director run by the national association, the Football Association of Malaysia while the others are given the funding to run it?

Even the training attire for NFDP is controlled by NSC leaving FAM are merely peons to the NFDP.

Frankly a forensic adit should be undertaken with regards to the spending of NSC.

The NSI’s is merely a poor cousin of NSC as it receives just under RM15 million per year compared to its neighbour that swallows the bulk of the Budget.

And let us not even talk if the never ending construction work undertaken at the NSC Complex each year.

Then there is also the lingering accusation of NSC using up RM56 million of funds from the 2017 SEA Games as well.

Though the reply will be a internal investigation found nothing wrong and deemed the money as a gift to NSC, procedure wise this is akin to a criminal breach of trust as the money belonged to another entity though parked in your accounts.

Let’s start opening the pandora box as those guilty must face the music.

DS Reezal has the opportunity to re-invent the wheel for sports in this country and what better place then Tuesday.

Kudos to the Task Force for their efforts in meeting almost daily to churn out a report within a month.

Now let’s hope the little napoleons do not play a major role by advising the Right Honourable Minister to look behind Bukit Jalil.