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British sports complex wont help us

I refer to your report M'sia to build 'RM490 mil' sports academy in UK .

The government never fails to amaze the public with their grand ideas which cause a lot of public money to be drained off. This harebrained idea of the Youth and Sports Ministry to build an almost half-a-billion-ringgit sport complex in London to train our sports people to be world champions is a case of priorities gone wrong. Money which should be spent in local economy is being channeled to a foreign government.

The reason given by the ministry that our athletics need to acclimatise to cold weather besides having access to top-notch coaches just doesn't hold water. Sport giants from other Third World countries have never had such grand facilities but have achieved great heights in the sporting world.

Maybe the good life in our country has made our youths shy away from sport while our educations system which only stresses on getting straight As further discourages our students from taking up sport for a living.

No one can deny that our sporting achievements on the world stage are a pale shadow when compared to the 70s and early 80s when we were a force to contend with in the Asian region. Unlike our present sportsmen of today, those who played sport in those days were self-driven, well-disciplined and above all played for the love of the nation and not monetary gain.

We must also accept the cold fact that most of the presidents of our sport associations are made up of old hands who are only there for the perks of office. They are good in giving excuses when the national teams fail miserably while the committee members are merely 'yes men'.

Unless the sports minister has the political will power to remove these mediocre presidents who have overstayed their welcome, the rot in our sporting field will continue its downward spiral with no end in sight.

The present government should think of better ways of using government funds to improve the well-being of the common people rather than having grand ideas of wasting public funds on producing world-class athletics, an initiative which has never resulted in much before.

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