Wednesday, November 9, 2011

First class joke

RTM to send one reporter to cover Sea Games 
Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 23:30:00
Sports is supposed to be a national agenda but not according to national broadcasters RTM.
The national contingent are in the midst of leaving in batches for the 46th Sea Games in Indonesia. There will be a total of 43 events held in various locations in Jakarta (22 events) and Palembang (21) with 542 gold medals up for grabs.

Sadly, RTM will only send one reporter to cover the Games forcing viewers back home to get updates from Astro instead. However, not everyone in Kuala Terla, Tuaran or Bachok subscribe to Astro.
Apparently, lack of money is the contributing factor.

Those in RTM have their hands tied and mouths zipped, the typical saya menurut perintah subordinate, as orders are shoved down their throats by their bosses in the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry.

RTM staff travel first class and enjoy five star accommodation claiming it to be a perk. Ministries enjoy discounts from government-linked companies including Malaysia Airlines but wouldn't it be wise to get a discount for economy class instead?

It seems RTM is now equipped with high-definition cameras and studios but are not able to fully utilise them due to technical issues. It is also learnt RTM turned down the offer to air the World University Games in August despite the Ministry of Higher Learning pumping in the funds.

The Sports Ministry is harping on the Sports Industry. Shouldn't the Information Ministry lend a helping hand by promoting sports?

Everyone complains about the lack of funds but money is never a problem when it comes to pursuing their agendas.

Speaking of the Sports Industry, the writer obtained a report "Developing The Malaysian Sport Industry; Developing the capacity of National Sport Associations (NSAs)" compiled by Prof Leigh Robinson and Brian Minikin from the University of Sterling.

The report is an analysis on NSAs carried out using the Readiness Assessment Tool. This enabled the research team to identify gaps that exist and what is required for the NSAs to contribute to a national sport industry.

Questionnaires were distributed to 53 members and associate members of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM). The team also interviewed stakeholders including the OCM, National Sports Institute, National Sports Council (NSC) and the Sports Ministry between June to July.

In short, the report indicated NSC interferes with the management of NSAs in the country.
The report stated; "… in some cases, it has been reported the NSC funded administrative officer reports primarily back to NSC rather than the board of governors of the NSA. If this is the case, it undermines the governance and management of an NSA and will inhibit development of the organisation ...

A significant number of NSAs reported their operational procedures were directed either by a strong president who determined how everything was to be done or that this was imposed upon them by NSC and tied to funding".

According to the report, NSAs revealed they have a small role in the selection of athletes and coach as it is dictated by NSC although the council claim all their activities are done with the approval of the NSA.
We can now understand why many are skeptical with the notion of a Sports Industry as government agencies seem to be the biggest obstacle towards a noble cause.

HARESH DEOL is a Senior Journalist with The Malay Mail. He believes government servants need to understand their roles before helping the nation's sports industry to prosper. He blogs at, banters on Twitter @HareshDeol and receives brickbats at

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