Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman said that he was unaware of any previous request from Olympic medal-wining cyclist Azizulhasni Awang for aid from the state government.
“I want to explain that the matter that was raised by Azizulhasni which is being spread in social media, was not brought to my attention,” he said in a statement.
Azizulhasni, who won the Bronze medal in the Keirin cycling event in the ongoing Rio Olympics. had earlier sarcastically thanked the Terengganu MB for not helping him when he requested the state to help him with the purchase of road bikes for training purposes.
He said that his request went unanswered and further enquiries by his management team also met with silence.
However, Azizulhasni said that he hoped the MB will see this in a positive light as an eye-opener for all involved to take stock of their role in developing national sports.
In the same spirit, Ahmad Razif said that he is ready to meet personally with Azizulhasni and convey the pride that all of Terengganu feels for the cyclist’s Olympic medal-winning feat, as well as listen to any grouses.
“I am ready to meet with Azizul and listen to him with an open heart,” said Ahmad Razif.
The MB also said that he is evaluating a suitable reward to honour Azizulhasni’s achievement.
“The Terengganu government is making special preparations to celebrate his return,” he added.
A special gallery will also be created to showcase Terengganu sons and daughters who had achieved success in sports, including Azizulhasni’s Olympic feat.
Meanwhile, the New Straits Times reported that Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has advised Azizulhasni to seek clarification from the MB’s Office over the cyclist’s claim that a request for assistance went unheeded.
“From my interpretation, I believe it is a misunderstanding. I will speak to Azizul and advise him to contact the Menteri Besar’s Office.
“This can be easily resolved and Azizul should not allow it to overshadow what he has achieved in Rio,” Khairy reportedly said.