220 athletes were affected due to the 'Sheraton Move' - Hannah Yeoh

25 May 2023 12:13pm
Hannah Yeoh - FILEPIC
Hannah Yeoh - FILEPIC
SHAH ALAM - Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh revealed in Parliament, that as many as 220 national athletes were affected as a result of the Sheraton move ( the political move to topple the government at the time).

According to her, after the change of government, it was found that the presentation of the 2022 Budget did not allocate funds to the Podium Program which caused athletes to be unable to continue training.

She explained that the matter had caused the National Sports Council (MSN) to reorganize the athlete preparation program at that time in preparation for major sports events such as the Sea Games, the Commonwealth Games, the Asean Games and the Asia Games.

She added that it caused MSN to allocate and use internal allocations to ensure that athlete training allowances and coaches' salaries continued without delay.

"(A total of) 220 athletes could not continue training since no specific provision was given for the implementation of the senior training program under the Podium Program.

"Every time there is a change, allowances get delayed and coaches' salaries are delayed because there is no budget, this has an impact because some have to go abroad.

"I had a discussion with athletes and associations, they admitted that in these four years, our country has been busy with politics and neighboring countries have moved forward.

"We must admit that after the 'Sheraton Move', there were indeed many efforts that the government had made at that time to help the economy, education, all of which were disrupted due to political instability. That is a fact," she said in the Dewan Rakyat during the minister's question session on Wednesday.

She said this in response to an additional question from Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (PN-Pasir Mas) who wanted to know the steps taken by the Youth and Sports ministry to ensure that political instability does not affect the country's sports sector.
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Hannah added that the ministry at that time had taken the initiative to apply to the Cabinet to obtain allocations for the program and it was agreed under the 12th Malaysia Plan, with an allocation of RM240 million from 2022-2025.

She explained that ministry has taken steps to create a Road To Gold committee involving former athletes, the National Sports Association and experienced sports administrators.

Sje added that through cooperation with the Malaysian Olympic Council, even if the government changes or is unstable, athletes can still train and get adequate infrastructure.

"With the existence of the Malaysian Olympic Council, even if there is no minister, the committee still runs and there is no more interference with our athletes," she said.