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MAF, FTAAA not informed of KL New Year run

UPDATE (6.42pm): The Malaysia Athletics Federation (MAF) is unaware of an international New Year run in city.

MAF president Datuk Karim Ibrahim said: "We had a meeting with KSU (Youth and Sports Ministry's chief secretary), Sports Commissioner and even a representative from police last week and it was decided that all runs, especially international runs, must be sanctioned by the state association and this was agreed by all parties."

"No requests were made to us for an international run on New Year's day. We have been tasked to come up with the guidelines and held a meeting today."

Karim also said it was wrong for race organisers to use the name of government agencies or any other third party to organise events, especially so when money is collected.


The above picture is a screen grab from the Royal Malaysian Police twitter account. 

Utusan Malaysia reported: 

Beberapa jalan utama di sekitar ibu negara akan ditutup bersempena program ‘KL International New Year Run 2018’ yang bakal berlangsung pada hari Isnin, 1 Januari depan.

Ketua Jabatan Siasatan dan Penguatkuasaan Trafik (JSPT), Superintenden Ahmad Adnan Basri berkata, jalan yang terlibat antaranya Dataran Merdeka, Jalan Raja Laut, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Tun Perak, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Ampang, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Mahameru, Jalan Kinabalu serta Jalan Damansara.

But according to the Sports Commissioner's Office website, the event they endorsed on Jan 1, 2018 was the KL New Year Fun Run 2018.

Fun run or international run, Federal Territory Amateur Athletics Association (FTAAA) secretary Datuk S. Vegiyathuman confirmed the association was not informed of the Jan 1 event.

"No ... no application was made to our office. We were not informed about the run," said Vegiyathuman.

This reminded me of what a veteran race organiser told me in relation to an article of mine published by Channel NewsAsia:

“Many events these days … running, cycling … all have the word ‘international’. Just because they have one participant from Singapore and another from Nigeria doesn’t mean it is an international affair. And what is the use of it being international if the timings are not recognised?”

Read more here.

The Sports Commissioner's Office has clarified its role, adding it stands guided by the expertise, experience as well as the sanctioning of events by associations - as reflected on its website.

Section 36 is quite clear of what needs to be done by companies registered under the Registrar of Companies in organising sporting events and activities. Any company which organises sporting activities need to apply for a license from the Sports Commissioner’s Office. The Sports Commissioner’s Office functions to receive these applications and we will ensure they comply with a checklist of other permits, as what is readily available on our website (

This approval is important. Per Section 34 of the Sports Development Act, this sanctioning ensures the health and safety measures for participants, officials and spectators, the standard and qualifications for all participants and officials as well as ensuring that this is in accordance with the recognised rules and guidelines of all international governing and regulatory bodies for its sport in all matters. 

I also have to make this clear. The Sports Commissioner’s Office can’t be expected to have the technical expertise to evaluate the more than 50 sports defined under the Act. They stand guided by the expertise and experience, as well as the sanctioning of events done by associations. This is to ensure that sports associations maintain the technical standards and international rules and guidelines of sporting events per Section 34 of the Sports Development Act. It is in line with best practices and guidelines of international federations. This is not something that the Ministry can interfere in. For example, the Malaysia Athletics Federation is bound by the IAAF. The Football Association of Malaysia is bound by FIFA. 

The Malaysia Athletics Federation technical committee met at Wisma OCM to discuss guidelines for runs organised in the country.

The meeting, which was chaired by MAF president Datuk Karim Ibrahim, is part of the national body's plan to ensure race organisers adhere to the Sports Development Act 1997 which requires those intending to organise races in the country to seek the approval of the Sports Commissioner's Office.

MAF will inform the Sports Commissioner's Office of its proposed guidelines as questions were raised after runners were hit by a car during Klang marathon.

Despite the hue and cry ...

i. The Bentong Half Marathon, held on Dec 16, 207 and launched by Transport Minister and Bentong MP Liow Tiong Lai, is not listed in the Sports Commissioner's Office list of approved or rejected events. For the record, Jimmy Liew, 71, from Kuantan died during the event.

The list of events (updated till Dec 26, 2017) on the Sports Commissioner's Office website:


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