Budget 2018: Spend 'generous' sports allocation wisely

That's the allocation for sports in Budget 2018 as just revealed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

It may seem "generous" to some but sports is a huge business and RM1 billion to run various programmes may not be enough after all.

That aside, as I tweeted earlier:

1. I have always maintained that FitMalaysia and Hari Sukan Negara are great initiatives that are centered and catered for the masses, not just the elite few. 

The idea behind both programmes, to me, is to instill a sporting culture among Malaysians which will create a healthy and productive population.

However, critics continue to dismiss these programmes saying the efforts have been hijacked by a handful who are "benefiting" from organising and hosting events related to the programmes. 

The term "benefiting" remains unclear as I've yet to see anything in black and white to suggest such.

That aside, it is hoped such programmes will continue and not be forgotten the minute a new minister takes office — as seen in the past.

2. The construction of 14 new sports complexes nationwide is good news but there is the fear that they could all slowly turn into white elephants. 

Efforts must be taken not only to build, but to maintain and ensure these facilities are able to sustain throughout the year. It's best if those tasked to manage these new venues work with schools, higher learning institutions and private entities to ensure the complexes are fully utilised.

3. As for the RM20 million allocation to the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), it's timely.

It is hoped the allocation will be spent wisely.

It will be good if the Youth and Sports Ministry opened its books and show the masses how the RM1 billion will be (and 'has been') spent to promote transparency and accountability. 

Such a move will earn the admiration of many and could see other ministries doing the same, allowing tax payers insights to how their money is being spent instead of relying on the annual Auditor General's Report. 

Speaking about transparency and accountability, anyone knows when will the organisers of the 29th KL SEA Games reveal the post-Games report and accounts of the regional event?


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