Skip to main content

End this negative cycle

As published in Malay Mail today

Comment by Loghun Kumaran
Picture by Farhan Najib

AS the wooden tracks at the Velodrome Rakyat in Ipoh lie rotten like the ruins of an ancient village house, the only things that seem to cycle around are the blame game and excuses.

For the last two years, the velodrome, built 26 years ago, has been left at the mercy of the elements without adequate maintenance. It was declared unusable in 2013.

Could its present state been avoided? Yes, it’s just that no single authority assumed responsibility for its upkeep.

And while fingers are being pointed at each other, Malaysia’s first velodrome — built on public donations — continues to rot away.

Mailsport exposed its condition last month.

On Monday Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin blasted the state government, Malaysian National Cycling Federation and the Perak Cycling Association (PCA) for neglecting the velodrome.
These bodies, including Ipoh City Council (MBI) and state Public Works Department (PWD) have absolved themselves of the responsibility of maintaining the complex.

PCA, who played a large part in the velodrome’s construction, said the complex was handed over to MBI upon completion.

But MBI claimed they are only responsible for the upkeep of the building while PWD are in charge of maintaining the track.

PWD said they can only assume responsibility on the instruction of the state government. Unless the government take ownership of the velodrome, which hasn’t happened, MBI cannot take over the maintenance works.

Differing statements have been issued on the actual repair cost.

The Sports Ministry say RM7 million will be needed; PWD claim it will cost RM10 million.
PCA said they have been corresponding with the state government and even informed them of a German company’s proposal to install engineered wood that would be rot resistant for 50 years. The cost — RM4 million.

But PCA claim to have received no reply. Why?

Khairy appeared to have had enough of.

He said in a Mailsport report on Tuesday his ministry would step in and take charge if no parties were prepared to do so.

This is probably the best way forward.

But questions on the upkeep of the facility will continue to be asked; especially on why so many different authorities failed to do anything about the problem.

The most important thing now is to get the velodrome refurbished immediately. But herein lies the problem — who will carry out the repairs?

That is why the statement from Khairy is timely. Let the Sports Ministry be the singular authority to take charge of the upkeep according to international standards.

Velodrome Rakyat hosted SEA Games, and the Asian and World Cycling Championships.
It cannot be left abandoned like an unwanted child. The authorities cannot pretend to look away.
The velodrome, built with money that came from the toil and sweat of Malaysians, can never be allowed to rot again.



Popular posts from this blog

What went wrong with KL SEA Games?

145 gold medals.
It's the best Team Malaysia has ever achieved since the inception of the SEAP Games in1959.
The 29th edition of the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur ended yesterday. The opening ceremony dazzled those at the stands and viewers at home while the performances during the closing ceremony yesterday jogged plenty of musical memories to many.
Our athletes, the real superheroes, brought smiles through their heroic display. They made everyday a happy day.
Kudos to the officials - from the coaches, the National Sports Institute and National Sports Council - for their hard work in ensuring our athletes perform to their best.
But it was not all memorable.

'World fashion disaster' in KL

World Fashion Week Asia 2017 ended over the weekend.

And the launch on Friday at Palace of the Golden Horses at Mines Resort City just outside Kuala Lumpur turned out to be a forgettable night.


It was poorly organised.

Just as many are trying to get over the nightmare witnessed throughout the KL SEA Games, the organiser of World Fashion Week Asia 2017 has made it look like Malaysians seem to have lost it when it comes to hosting major events and hospitality.

Here's why.

Royal protocol ignored

1. The Sultanah of Terengganu Sultanah Nur Zahirah was invited to grace the event.
    a. There was no holding room for the Sultanah and VIPs accompanying her.
    b. The Sultanah was invited on stage without anyone accompanying her there (a big NO NO if anyone knows protocol involving royalty).
    c. The event dragged on till 11.30pm, way past the cut off point of the very many events I've attended with members of the royal family present.
   d. The Sultanah was forced to walk all t…

Klang run 'illegal', says Sports Commissioner

UPDATE (Dec 11; 11.58am): Sporting events approved by Sports Commissioner's Office will be posted on the Youth and Sports Ministry's website starting Dec 14, as revealed by the Sports Commissioner in her statement today. I'm glad the last point of my observation (as per posting right below) has been addressed.


UPDATE (10.57pm): A Twitter user had sent me a link by the organiser of the Klang Heritage Marathon 2017. It states that the marathon has been "postponed to Oct 14, 2018" and that they have been victims of fake news and will lodge reports with the authorities against materials with elements of defamation or fake news. Read the full statement, posted on Dec 2, here.


A Klang City International Marathon 2017 pacer suffered serious injuries after she and two others were hit by a car

Turns out that the organiser of this morning's event, Earth Runners International Group Sdn Bhd, DID NOT submit any application to the Sports Commissioner&#…