The Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, is NOT aware of the cut of 11 sports from the Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM) annual 24 sports calendar they organise at national level for Under-12, Under-15 and Under-18.
This was disclosed by Tunku Tan Sri Imran Almarhum Tuanku Ja'afar in his closing address at the one-day Olympic Council of Malaysia's (OCM) Conference, to determine OCM's strategic plan for 2011-2016, yesterday evening at the Wisma OCM.
The sports fraternity have been shocked with news of the cut of annual national level sports to be organised because of the annual budget cut from RM 6 million to RM 1.5.
Tunku Imran a firm believer of grassroots development, had naturally expressed his disappointment of the exclusion of 11 sports and the cut of annual budget, to the DPM when he was the guest of honour at the Olympian Night on Jan 16, at the Wisma OCM.
"When I mentioned about the cut of sports in schools, he was totally surprised," revealed Tunku Imran yesterday.
Tunku said Muhyiddin's response was: "How can that be. Here I am talking about making sports a policy in schools and here they have cut the number of sports organsied in schools. I am not aware of this."
So who is this person who is more powerful than Muhyiddin to have taken the decisions without even consultation or briefing the Education Minister?
Just to recap, the 13 sports which will be organised are artistic gymnastics, gymrama, golf, swimming, athletics, badminton, netball, basketball, volleyball, sepak takraw, football, tennis and hockey. On top of that, all the sports, except for artistic gymnastics, gimrama, swimming and athletics, will not have the Under-15 age group.
The eleven sports given the axe include sports which key sports in Malaysia -bowling, squash and archery.
The others axed are table tennis, rugby, cricket, sailing, softball, handball, cross country and chess.
I somewhat had a hunch that Muhyiddin was not aware of what was going on in MSSM. In my earlier blog, I had asked:
So what is happening. Why all the denials? Is the Minister of Education, the Deputy Prime Minister himself, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, aware of the situation.
Muhyiddin last month had said that he want to make sports a policy in school. In June he had said that more teachers specialised in sports will be trained and placed in schools. (read here)
So will heads roll? Will all the sports be organised now? I really do not know.
However, Malaysian Cricket Association, secretary-general, Sivanandan Chinnadurai, who was a panel member at the OCM Conference, said that he had attended a meeting called by the Ministry of Education last week with regards to the cut in number of sports organised and an appeal was made for all sports to be organised.
"The various sports associations called for the meeting had appealed for all 24 sports to be organised and they have told us that they will get back to us," said Sivanandan.
"Let us wait for their reply."
It is a wonder that Sivaandan actually has hope that a reply is forthcoming. When? The school term has already began and the sports calendar is already in motion.
The only hope is for Muhyiddin to put his foot down and get everything back as status quo.
Will that happen?
Your guess is as good as mine!