Sports Minister: Meet your targets, or we’re out of here
PUTRAJAYA: The Government will not hesitate to pull out their financial sponsorship of any event if the targets and objectives set by the association concerned are not met.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said sent this warning to the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) Monday, saying they had to achieve their objectives in the coming Le Tour de Langkawi next year or risk losing their sponsorship of RM25 million in 2009.
“The performance of the MNCF in organising the tour and also the development of the sports are paramount. There must be benefits to the sports in hosting the tour. Otherwise we are just wasting the money. The RM25 million is the highest amount we are providing for an event.
“As such I do not want the MNCF to take if for granted that we will stick by them every year. We are not afraid to withdraw the money if the tour does not bear fruits,” she said at the launch of the route for the 2008 edition.
She said that the RM25 million could be put to other use especially in helping develop sports at the grassroot level.
She added that this warning goes out to other sports as well.
“We must always be mindful of the objectives when we host a meet. The tour may be a big thing but what are the benefits in terms of tourism and also to the sports concerned.
“That is why we had reviewed the sponsorship of it this year and there is more ministry level involvement in the process for the coming event.
“We want our cyclist to be competitive and some of the funds from this event should channel down to the development aspect of the spot. I think some of it did this year but that should be increased next year,” she said.
Azalina said that the expectations from the public is high and that the MNCF must deliver.
There will be two teams from the MNCF participating in the tour next year. One will be the national team under the Malaysia banner while the other is the MNCF development team.
There will be a record 25 teams, including five Pro Tour outfits and 10 national teams from Asia, who will grace the 13th edition of the Tour de Langkawi from Feb 9-17.
The Tour is sanctioned by the MNCF, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Asian Cycling Confederation