Saturday, 4 December 2010

Malaysians are not ready to host big games

By ANN TAN anntan@thestar.com.my

Malaysains have to discard freebies mentality, says sports minister


GEORGE TOWN: Malaysians are not ready for any major multi-sports event like Asian Games despite the country being the host for the Commonwealth Games in 1998.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the people’s mindset and attitude have to be changed before the country decides to bid to be the host for any such games.

“Malaysians are still looking for freebies such as complimentary tickets. They are also always asking to be paid despite volunteering to help out in a sport events.”

Citing the 590,000 volunteers during the recently concluded Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, as an example, he said over a million people had volunteered themselves to help out in the event without asking for anything in return.

“Those who were picked were only given a uniform each and food coupons, and they even made their way to Guangzhou on their own.

“We need such a spirit before we can even consider hosting an international sport event but I am sad to note that we have yet to reach such a standard,” he told reporters after officiating the 2nd Malaysia Youth Sports and Cultural Carnival at the Universiti Sains Malaysia last night.

It was earlier reported that the Cabinet had rejected an attempt to bid for the 2019 Asian Games, which was estimated to cost of RM1.7bil.

To this, Shabery said the cost, which excluded the budget for infrastructure, was estimated before they witnessed the Asian Games in Guangzhou.

“China has set a very high standard and if we were to host a similar event, we will have to use them as a benchmark.

“We must think of something more creative and more advanced with better co-ordination and manpower as the Asian Games will definitely cost more to host than the Commonwealth Games,” he said.

Shabery said it would not be a wise to bid for the games when the Government was cutting subsidy on petrol and sugar.

“This is not an impossible task but we will need to wait until the country is more financially sound.”