Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ministry to review incentive scheme for gold medallists

THE Youth and Sports Ministry may review the current incentive scheme for winning a SEA Games gold medal if it is deemed that Malaysia’s reward is too little compared to that being offered by other countries in the region.

The Minister, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, said: “If it is true that there is a big gap between what our gold medallists get compared to those from the other countries, we will review it.

“We do not want to be left behind when it comes to rewarding athletes who deliver for the country.

“But any decision will also have to be taken on the whole context, like academic opportunities and overseas exposure.”

Under the current incentive scheme, a gold is worth RM5,000 and an additional RM1,000 is given for a Games record.

However, it pales in comparison with what other countries in the region reportedly dish out.

Indonesia are said to hand out a handsome sum of US$9,000 for a gold medal while Thailand, who are expected to finish as the overall champions, give out US$6,000.

Singapore’s reward is US$7,000 for a gold with an additional US$3,500 for a Games record. Even Cambodia pay out US$6,000 for a gold medal while Vietnam and the Philippines give US$1,500 to a gold medallist.

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