Friday, January 8, 2010

More than the eye meets

This article was written by the malay mail's Haresh Deol today.

Ministry deny sidelining sports at MSSM level

PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Education insist they are not sidelining sports at the national level (MSSM) despite experiencing a tight budget this year.
  The Sports, Arts and Co-curriculum department director Jame @ Maikal Alip stressed the running of sports at other levels (schools, districts and states) will not be disrupted as the ministry host the Asean Schools Championship from July 12-21 in Kuala Lumpur.
  "Yes, we are on a tight budget as we are playing host to the Asean Schools championship. It is expected to cost RM5.5 million," said Jame.
  "It doesn't mean we are sidelining other sports especially at the MSSM level."
  Jame added that the reason his department dropped the Under-15 football tournament at the national level is because there are already adequate age-group tournaments. Also out from the MSSM calender this year is the cross-country event.
  "MSSM will hold the Under-12 and Under-18 tournaments while we have 100Plus sponsoring the Under-14 and Under-17 leagues. As for hockey, MSSM does not organise the Under-15 category as it is hosted by the Malaysian Hockey Federation."
  Jame did not reveal the total budget allocated to his department this year but said; "I had a meeting with the head of States (yesterday) and explained the situation to them. Al programmes at the schools, district and state levels remain unchanged."
   This issue was first highlighted by former Malay Mail sports editor Tony Mariadass in his blog ( under the posting "The right hand does not know what the left hand does" on Dec 18, 2009.

It is quite obvious Haresh was not getting the answers he wanted.
To say that there is no budget cut this year for MSSM and that the hosting of the Asean Schools Championship in July is the reason why the budget is tight and they have to leave out some sports, is unacceptable.
Why has the cost to host the Asean championship come at the expense of local schools sports?
Is it not normal to ask for a separate budget when hosting international events?
And if MSSM did not have the money to host the inaugural Asean Championship, why did they bid for it or accept to host it?
In the past the Asean Schools sports events were organised as individual sports, but from this year, all the sports are competed in a Games atmosphere.
The Sports, Arts and Co-curriculum department director Jame @ Maikal Alip, was certainly not telling the truth to Haresh.
He did not even reveal the total budget for this year. Why is it so secretive? Where is the open policy?
There is certainly more than the eye meets and Y.P. Sivam, who specialises in covering schools' sports, has in his hands some astonishing details!
Read all about it in the The Star's Metro sports section tomorrow.
Wonder what will Jame have to say after the revelation?
School sports is slowly but surely suffering a natural death. What are we taking about taking Malaysian sports to the next level and spending millions of ringgit, when the very grassroots sports level is neglected!

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