Only MAM-sanctioned events to be approved by Commissioner - Hannah Yeoh

27 Jan 2023 06:33pm
Hannah Yeoh during a media conference on the hosting of motorsports events in Malaysia at the Speedway PLUS Karting Circuit today. Photo: BERNAMA
Hannah Yeoh during a media conference on the hosting of motorsports events in Malaysia at the Speedway PLUS Karting Circuit today. Photo: BERNAMA

SUBANG JAYA - The Youth and Sports Ministry will enforce streamlined regulations for motorsports events, synergised between the Motorsports Association of Malaysia (MAM) and Sports Commissioner's Office to raise safety standards, curb negligence and reduce fatalities.

Its minister Hannah Yeoh said all motorsports events have to be sanctioned by the MAM as a prerequisite for approval by the Sports Commissioner's Office.

She also urged organisers to only hold events on circuits that have been inspected by MAM and obtained license from the Sports Commissioners's Office to organise races.

"As organisers, they need to choose a circuit that has been inspected by the MAM and apply for a license to organise motor sports events," she said during a media conference on the hosting of motorsports events in Malaysia at the Speedway PLUS Karting Circuit today.

A circuit inspection is the minimum requirement for the MAM to ascertain that a venue has met adequate safety requirements, while for a circuit to be allowed to organise sanctioned races, they need to be homologated for that purpose.

"In accordance to Section 36 of the Sports Development Act 1997 (Act 576) which states that companies must apply for a license to operate from the Sports Commissioners Office within 30 days (local events) and 90 days (international events) before the date of the event," she added.

MAM chairman Tan Sri Mokhzani Mahathir said that so far only 15 of 22 circuits had been approved by MAM to organise races.

The 15 circuits are the Sepang International Circuit, Sepang Karting Circuit, City Karting Shah Alam Kart Circuit, Speedway Plus Circuit, Litar Lumba Rakyat Kuala Selangor, Alyezo SpeedZone and APDCREW Circuit MAEPS in Selangor, Morac Adventure Track (Kart Circuit) Langkawi in Kedah, Tangkak Racing Track in Johor, Melaka International Motorsport Circuit, UNIMAP Changlung Circuit in Perlis, Universiti Utara Malaysia Sports Centre in Kedah, Terengganu Gong Badak Circuit in Terengganu, Miri Track PermyJaya in Sarawak, and Jempol Drag Circuit in Negeri Sembilan.

Meanwhile, Sports Commissioner Ibrahim Mohd Yusof said companies can be fined up to RM500,000 if they fail to comply with the rules stipulated under Section 36 of the Act and they may be blacklisted if they are repeat offenders.

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Yeoh also stressed that motorsports fans, especially the youth who are keen on competing in motorsports events must ensure the organisers are licensed and the circuit used is in the list provided by MAM.

Earlier, a spectator was killed by an out-of-control vehicles that ploughed into spectators in an unprotected area during CCT Battle of Champions at the Dato Sagor Circuit in Perak on New Year's Eve. Perak police have informed that the case is still under investigation.

In an earlier incident, in Battle of The King (BOTK) 2022 at the Terengganu Race Track in Gong Badak On Oct 16 last year, a driver was killed after he lost control of his car, which then ran into a tree.

Both incidents are the latest in a series of untoward incidents at unsanctioned motorsports events held without adequate safety measures in place, which have been rampant in recent years.

Sinar Daily reported on Wednesday that organisers of such events had abused a loophole within the Youth and Sports Ministry, whereby they bypassed the need to be sanctioned by MAM, by obtaining support or approval letters from certain departments in the Ministry, which would then be used to gain approval from the Sports Commissioner's Office and subsequently issued permits to hold the events by police and local councils, who were oblivious to the fact that these events severely neglected safety measures.

This came after Federal Territory Motorsports Association president Shahrol Yuzy Ahmad Zaini exposed that organisers of unsanctioned events that had resulted in fatalities had political links and in some cases supported by the Youth and Sports Ministry.

Mokhzani concurred that the loophole had been exploited by irresponsible race organisers, and assured that the Ministry were aware, and preventive measures were being devised as announced by Hannah today.

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