The Borneo Post today reported that the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Sarawak and Sabah have agreed to set up the East Malaysia Sports Commission (EMSC).
The proposal for the establishment of the commission, according to the report, is to facilitate the organisation of more sports programmes in the two states.
The report raises several questions:
1. Will the East Malaysia Sports Commission be part of the Sports Commissioner's Office or will it stand on its own?
2. Were the Sports Commissioner's Office and Youth and Sports Ministry in Putrajaya consulted about the move?
3. Will the EMSC be governed by the Sports Development Act?
For the record, the Sports Commissioner's Office has an office in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, as listed on its website. The Sports Development Act clearly states that those intending to organise local or international events must obtain approval from the Sports Commissioner's Office or face fines and/or jail time.
News website Twentytwo13 had recently reported that the Sports Commissioner's Office in Putrajaya and its office in Kuching were unaware about an international golf event held last month.
Perhaps the two Borneo states believe it will be better for them to oversee events held there instead of reporting back to Putrajaya. It must be commended that leaders from the two states are discussing the possibility of co-organising international events in the future.
Meanwhile, the report quoted Sarawak Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah as saying: "Previously we had the National Sports Institute (NSI) under the federal government but it was terminated."
NSI in Sarawak "terminated"?
Hopefully the powers-that-be, both at the Federal level and the two states, will clear the air over this latest development.
Sports must and should rightfully be the winner at the end of the day.