Hopes on Hannah Yeoh to tackle issues in sports

04 Dec 2022 09:42am
Hannah Yeoh - Photo: Sinar Archive
Hannah Yeoh - Photo: Sinar Archive
KUALA LUMPUR - Newly minted Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh is set to face huge challenges in heading the ministry, with the level of performance and politicking in the sporting arena reportedly not very promising at the moment.

The Segambut MP, who was sworn in as minister yesterday, needs to quickly learn and adapt to the sports system, get rid of the politics in the national sports associations (NSA) and focus on the athletes’ well-being for greater glory, especially in winning the country’s first Olympics gold medal at the Paris 2024 Games.

Former rhythmic gymnast and 1998 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Sarina Sundara Rajah said it would be interesting to see how Hannah, who was formerly the women, family, and community development deputy minister, would steer the ministry.

Given Hannah’s background, Sarina expressed hope that the minister could champion matters such as women’s and grassroots sports as well as continue to prioritise athletes' safety and table the Safe Sport Act in Parliament soon.

"Hannah did an excellent job in the previous ministry and has been vocal about the passing of the Sexual Harassment Bill. I hope she will recognise the need to act urgently for a Safe Sport Act that covers all the gaps and inconsistencies in the Penal Code, Sexual Offences Against Children Act, and Sexual Harassment Bill,” she told Bernama.

Hannah, 43, is only the second woman to lead the ministry since 1964, after Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said’s tenure from 2004 to 2008.

Sarina stressed that works that had been done in areas such as developing the Safe Sport Code and creating a Safe Sport Centre to ensure athletes could thrive in a sports environment free of abuse, should continue.

"It is critical to have an independent and effective system so that prevention and intervention initiatives may be fully realised.

"I know that she has a deep passion for children as she worked at the Women’s Ministry previously, but for sports, managing abuse is unique in sports settings. I hope the Ministry will continue to engage the entire sports community in our efforts to create a Safe Sport environment,” she said.
Related Articles:

Prior to this, Youth and Sports Ministry secretary-general Datuk M. Jana Santhiran was reported to have said that the number of abuse and harassment cases in sports was worrying.

Meanwhile, Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) vice president Datuk Amarjit Singh Gill is confident that Hannah would conduct her role effectively and take Malaysian sports to the next level.

"It is also our earnest wish to have the minister engage with the NSA personally, moving forward. We look forward to engaging with her in the near future, especially in our preparation towards Paris 2024, and look forward to paying a courtesy call on her soon,” he said. - BERNAMA