Friday, 10 April 2009

Challenging times ahead for new Sports Minister

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek is the new man at the helm of Malaysian sport.

The 50-year-old has a challenging task ahead as the Youth and Sports Minister after having previously served as the Information Minister.

A graduate in economics with a masters in political science, Ahmad Shabery is also the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Kemaman in Terengganu.

OLYMPIC Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi: With his background as Information Minister, we all can look forward to better promotion and publicity of sports in the country.

I am sure we can now get the message across to the people on the active lifestyle through sports, especially for the younger generation.

Personally, I have met him once at the launch of the Beijing Olympics Television Broadcast in RTM nine months ago.

FA of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president Datuk Redzuan Tan Sri Sheikh Ahmad: We welcome whoever is appointed to the post but what is important is the person needs to understand the true picture and the current sports scenario in the country.

So many things need to be done and as far as the FAM are concerned, we need the support of the ministry to see through the programmes that are in place for the benefit of the nation.

All the sports associations are working and trying hard to bring success. Football is the number one sport and we hope to make progress with the help of all parties concerned, including the Ministry of Education.

I hope everyone would give the new man time to settle down in his new office.

MALAYSIAN Hockey Federation (MHF) deputy president Nur Azmi Ahmad: We have no problem with whoever is the sports minister. We welcome the chance to work with the new minister and seek his cooperation in making hockey great again.

The ministry in the past and even today play an important role to help national associations (NSA) to develop sports and there are many joint programmes taking place with the National Sports Council (NSC).

We would like to see the continuation of these joint efforts and also hope that greater financial help will be forthcoming.

It will be good for the ministry to organise a meeting soon with the NSAs as it would help us understand what the new minister intends to do and the long-term agenda.

BADMINTON Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Nadzmi Mohd Salleh: We are happy with his appointment. Even as the Information Minister, he was very supportive of badminton.

He likes to try new things and is very creative with his way of doing things. He created a new image for the RTM. He is certainly different and we hope that he will use his creativity and innovation to manage sports in the country and eventually, take it to greater heights. We hope, he will assist badminton to achieve our goals.

MALAYSIAN National Cycling Federation (MNCF) deputy president Datuk Naim Mohd: We would like to congratulate him on his appointment.

It is our hope that he will continue with the blue print for cycling that had been agreed with the former minister and the NSC, especially on our 2012 Road to London Olympic programme.

His next big challenges will be the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games next year and I think, he will be prepared. We hope that we can work together and we will certainly give him our full support.

MALAYSIAN Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) deputy president Karim Ibrahim: My sincere hope is that the new minister meet and get to know all the sports associations.

He should get to know the people behind the sports and get feedback, suggestions and more importantly support their plans and objectives.

We need to get serious here. The MAAU want to move forward but without the financial support, we cannot fulfil our dreams. It takes at least eight years to build a champion and if we don’t get the full support from the ministry there is no way we can do it.

I hope the new minister would be supportive of the MAAU and help us in working towards a common goal.

MALAYSIAN Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) secretary Sidney Tung: The important thing here is the continuity in sports policies.

It is our hope that the new Sports Minister will continue to promote the development of sports. It is also important to maintain the funding for the sports associations to enable them to run their programmes smoothly.

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