English, Govt, KBS

National Athletes Welfare Foundation must not rely on govt, says deputy minister

KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — The Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) wants the National Athletes Welfare Foundation (Yakeb) not to rely too heavily on government-provided funds but to generate its own revenue.

Its Deputy Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong said Yakeb had been asked to focus on several key issues including widening the welfare service by providing employment and education opportunities instead of just providing financial aid to former athletes.

“I also want to see Yakeb have more sustainable management and planning, not only relying on government funds but being able to generate its own funds for long-term planning. So far, I’m very pleased with some of the plans that Yakeb has made to ensure its sustainability.

“Another focus is on promoting Yakeb to have more former athletes register as Yakeb members to enable them to use the facilities provided by the government,” he told the media after a visit to Yakeb’s office today.

Steven also praised Yakeb’s financial position which has been steadily improving and recovering with several initiatives in place.

Meanwhile, Yakeb chairman Datuk Noorul Ariffin Abdul Majeed said he had drawn up plans to generate and strengthen the former athlete’s welfare body.

He said one of the immediate initiatives was the launch and sale of gold bars weighing 0.5 gms at the National Sports Day 2019 in October.

As starters, the gold bars will feature three legendary national athletes, former bodybuilder Datuk Abdul Malek Noor; national sportswoman, Datuk M. Rajamani and cyclist Datuk Ng Joo Ngan.

Aside from selling gold bars, Noorul Ariffin said the Selangor state government also offered 56-acre plot of land in Bukit Cerakah and would look at the area next week.

“We will be conducting a survey next week to see the potential of the area. We plan to turn the place into a motivational camp with the National Service Training Programme (PLKN) concept and possibly in the future, it will be developed into a theme park,” he said.

Among others, Noorul Ariffin revealed that Perak Youth, Sports and Human Capital Development Committee chairman, Howard Lee Chuan How has also promised to assist Yakeb financially.

Commenting on the Gold Watermelon project by athletes cooperative Koperasi Atlet Malaysia Berhad (KAMB) on a 20-acre plot of land in Tanjung Tualang, Perak — Noorul Ariffin said the Perak state government had investigated the land and was still waiting for KAMB to discuss with the state government.

“There has been no response from KAMB on the project over the last five years. So now the Perak state government wants Yakeb to focus on the welfare of former national and Perak athletes. This will reduce Yakeb’s burden,” he said. — Bernama

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