Azalina: We will withdraw financial assistance if targets are not met
PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian government will not hesitate to pull out their financial sponsorship of a sport event if the targets and objectives are not met.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said sent this warning to the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) yesterday that they have to achieve their objectives in the coming Tour of Langkawi next year or risk losing the government’s sponsorship of RM25mil in 2009.
“The performance of the MNCF in organising the Tour and also the development of the sport are paramount. There must be benefits to the sport in hosting the Tour. Otherwise we are just wasting the money. The RM25mil is the highest amount we are providing for an event.
“As such I do not want the MNCF to take it for granted that we will stick by them every year.
“We are not afraid to withdraw the money if the Tour does not bear fruit,” she said yesterday at the launch of the route for the 2008 edition of the Tour of Langkawi.
She said that the RM25mil could be put to other use especially in helping develop sports at grassroots level.
She added that this warning goes out to other sports associations 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 sport concerned.
“That is why we had reviewed the sponsorship of the Tour this year and there is more ministry level involvement for the coming event.
“We want our cyclists to be competitive and some of the funds from this event should channel down to the development aspect of the sport. 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, taking part in the 13th edition of the Tour of Langkawi from Feb 9-17 next year.
The Tour is sanctioned by the MNCF, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Asian Cycling Confederation.