Friday, December 18, 2009
The right hand does not know what the left hand does
In one hand, we have an announcement by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, that the Cabinet has agreed in principal to set up a fund for football development at the grassroots level with an initial capital of about RM 50 milion to RM 60 million.
On the other hand, a little birdie told me today that the budget for the Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM), has been slashed from RM 6 million annually to RM1.5 million for 2010 by the Ministry of Education!
It is learnt that MSSM have appealed to the Ministry and are awaiting their response.
In the wake of slashed funds, MSSM will be forced to reduce their 24 sports calendar at national level to probably 12. This 12 sports which will be organised are most likley the sports which are competed in the Asean Schools Sports Council calendar.
The bigger news is that if the slash is implemented, MSSM will have to be drastically reduce the subsidies to the State Sports Councils (SSCs), who are responsible for organising the various sports events at district and State level, who in turn will be cutting down on their activities or shortening it.
Already many sports meets are being organised over a few days on a carnival basis. Probably with slashed funds, it could well be a one day tournament!
A MSSM meeting is scheduled next week in Kota Kinabalu and this is where the calendar for next year will be finalised.
It will be interesting to see what the outcome is.
And just a fortnight ago we had the Deputy Prime Minister who is also the Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, saying in his speech at his former school, that he wants to make a policy so that sports is complusory in schools.
Then we have the Director-general of the Ministry of Education, Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom, in a newspaper column on Sunday speaking in great lengths of the benefit of sports in the school and how it builds character and nation.
So what is the real story? How did this mess come about?
Tan Sri Muhyiddin is saying something and what is happening at the level below is something else, while the Sports Minister says there is RM 50 to RM 60 million available for grassroots soccer.
This is utter confusion and the victim is school sports again!
On one hand we are basking in the glory that Malaysian soccer is seeing better days with the victory at the Sea Games soccer after 20 years, and on the other hand, it looks like grassroots sports is being killed.
Can we have everyone get their act together and move in sync.
What is puzzling is that when the Deputy Prime Minister himself says something, his efforts are contradicted and undermined elsewhere.
Or is it that Muhyiddin was not briefed of the impending cut in the budget?
This is all too complicated.
Can someone please enlighten the Rakyat what is really happening?
However, whatever happens please do not kill what little sports we have in the schools.
Please do not forget that there are 3,111,948 students in 7,655 primary schools and 2,304,976 students in 2,189 in secondary schools.
The total of 5,416,924 students is about 20% of the nation's 27 million population and they are the future of our nation.
Let alone trying to build a sporting nation, but do not deprive these children of a healthy lifestyle, building their character and putting the future of the nation in jeopardy.