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Sports programme galore - success or waste of tax payers' money?

Let’s take a look at some of the sports programmes we have had since the 90s. 

At least five were listed on the National Sports Council’s website:

Here are some of the more "popular" programmes:

i.                 Jaya 98
            Launched in 1993, the Jaya 98 programme set the tone for numerous sports including diving, gymnastics and weightlifting, allowing them to grow and mould talents who were title contenders.. The architect behind the programme was Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad

ii.                Asiacomm

This was what The Star’s Rajes Paul wrote in 2006:

TWO heads, they say, are better than one. And that's a maxim that's has been taken to heart in Malaysian sports. 

Take, for instance, AsiaComm – a multi-million ringgit plan for the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. 

Australian Damien Kelly is the head of AsiaComm management committee. But Datuk Zolkples Embong has been appointed as the chairman of the committee. Who does what can be quite a puzzle. 

Asked to explain why there were two people heading the same unit, National Sports Council (NSC) director general Dr Ramlan Aziz said: “It is not two people heading the unit. Every Monday, I meet up with Damien to know the day-to-day running of the programme. I have appointed my assistant Zolkples (NSC deputy director general) to take over that job.” 


While the idea behind the plans are noble – which is to revive the image of the Malaysian sport – the Ministry should pause and review the set-up.  
There is a lot of money going to waste. A little house-cleaning could go a long way. 
And, like Dr Ramlan said, we need to have people working with the right spirit. Only then can we get the system to work.  

iii.              Road to London

This was then Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek’s frank assessment:

“Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek mengakui Program Road To London 2012 pada asasnya gagal, berdasarkan tiada kilauan emas mampu diraih kontinjen Malaysia pada sukan London setakat ini.


Kita akan melihat adakah peruntukan dikeluarkan ini sangat berbaloi kerana ia adalah duit rakyat, kita akan tengok juga sama ada ia mencukupi atau terlalu lebih, sedangkan hasilnya tidak berkesan," katanya.

iv.             Kita Juara
           The programme was aimed at propelling Malaysia to the top of the medal standings at last year's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. The national contingent obtained its best ever finish in the regional Games with 145 gold medals.

v.                   Podium Programme
             The programme's objectives as stated on its website:
            For the record we were placed 12th in Gold Coast with seven gold medals, one more than what the national contingent achieved in Glasgow 2014.

Will we see the birth of another programme soon?

By the way:

Let’s look at what Malaysia has achieved (overall ranking in parenthesis) since the birth of the numerous elite programmes funded by tax payers:

Commonwealth Games
1998 Kuala Lumpur: 10G-14-S-12B (4)
2002 Manchester: 7G-9S-18B (8)
2006 Melbourne: 7G-12S-10B (8)
2010 New Delhi: 12G-10S-14B (7)
2014 Glasgow: 6G-7S-6B (12)
2018 Gold Coast: 7G-5S-12B (12)

Asian Games
1998 Bangkok: - 5G-10S-14B (14)
2002 Busan: 6G-8S-16B (12)
2006 Doha: 8G-17S-17B (11)
2010 Guangzhou: 9G-18S-14B (10)
2014 Incheon: 5G-14S-14B (14)

2000 Sydney: 0G-0S-0B
2004 Athens: 0G-0S-0B
2008 Beijing: 0G-1S-0B (70)
2010 London: 0G-1S-1B (63)
2016 Rio: 0G-4S-1B (60)


1. In reference to my article yesterday, I tweeted:

2. Responding to the same article, a reader WhatsApp this message to me:

         "The Podium Programme is nothing new ... just a fancy name to underscore the difference between the creme de la creame and the rest. The Jaya programme had the rebound group of consultants, scientists, etc ... even more than the Podium ... we integrated as one team, not a separate group."

3. Will the National Sports Council (NSC) take over such elite programmes - and the National Sports Institute (NSI)? For the record, the NSI was a division under the NSC for years. It was only in 2007, the then Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said decided to change the functions of NSI which led to the separation of the NSI and NSC.

4. Hey you, yes you. You were once part of the system and you failed to leave a lasting impression. Don't waste time sending messages. Take up singing. It's good for the mind and soul. Try singing Frozen's Let it go.


  1. IMHO, we have the wrong people running the Podium Program. Both Tim and Scott do not seemed to understand our local sporting culture, our athletes and coaches! I am sure ISN has plenty of qualified and experienced local staff who can do the job better. Plenty of foreign 'experts' were hired, are they really 'expert'??

    1. Agreed, I work there and almost everybody in the company, local and international, both feel they are very incompetent. Why do you think so many of our international staff left? Us Locals don't have many other places to go. They think just because they are connected to the Minister they can get away with murder. Well nobody gets away with murder. SOS Haresh.


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