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COMMENT | Sports, politics and money – a potent mix
  • - There was no Finas when L Krishnan produced a series of P Ramlee movies which are still revered. There was no Sports Ministry or National Sports Council when Mani Jegathesan and Karu Selvarartnam set the track ablaze with their stunning performances. Their records stood for over 25 years. Why is that when the government gets involved, the standards always drop?

  • - If Tan Aik Huang would have been rewarded like the present-day athletes, he would have collected at least RM1 million for his four All-England titles, two Thomas Cup wins, several international titles and a string of gold medals at the SEA Games, Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games.

  • - Those days, cricketers who were selected for foreign tours had to fund themselves. Some successfully sought support from their employers like the National Electricity Board (now Tenaga Nasional) while others took loans from cooperative societies.

  • - In our days, a doctor and a hospital assistant were seconded from the Health Ministry for important tournaments. These days, there are experts in biomechanics to give analysis of sport movements to minimise the risk of injury and improve performance, and specialists like dieticians and even cooks who make up the contingent. Even with such backroom support, they have failed to deliver.

Conversations with past international sportsmen

COMMENT | Government interference in sports is frowned upon worldwide. Even the Olympic Charter prohibits its interference in National Olympic Committees (NOCs), Several countries are at varying stages of introducing laws which curtail the power and jurisdiction of their NOCs, a dangerous move which could lead to a suspension from the International Olympic Committee.

But without government funding, sports go nowhere. It is a conflict of sorts that countries bidding to host international events are required to produce a letter stating that its bid is supported by the government which agrees to provide or make available resources.

In 2008, Malaysia made headlines when

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