NATIONAL Sports Council director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong has warned National Sports Associations (NSAs) not to take advantage of Malaysia hosting of the 2017 Sea Games by asking the government to fund unnecessary upgrades to their facilities.Zolkples said the Games will be hosted on a minimal amount and NSAs that submit unreasonable budget demands risk having their sport left out of the competition.
"With the exception of the velodrome in Nilai, which was approved before we knew were going to host the Games, we are not going to build any new venues but will instead restore or upgrade what we already have," said Zolkples when met at the Milo Flame of Energy campaign launch in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
"A lot of our existing infrastructure has been around for some time so it is high time (for restoration). However, we do not want those involved, especially NSAs, to try and take advantage of the situation.
"Many think that when we host such an event it is a must for the government to fund the cost of lavishly upgrading their venues. For example, there is one association we have encountered that have their own facilities and are able to host their own competitions on a minimal budget.
"But when we ask to use their facilities for events such as the Malaysia Games they submit a budget to us amounting to millions of Ringgit to upgrade unnecessary things such as their flooring and air conditioning.
"We will examine what really needs to be done and what does not. NSAs must understand that they need to give cooperation by helping us reduce costs if they want to be part of the Sea Games.
"Only athletics and aquatics are a compulsory part of the Games. We can even drop football and badminton if we wanted to."
Zolkples added that the focus of the nation's preparation for the Games should be on basic work needed to allow the various sporting events to be run with funds being better spent on athletes preparation.
Meanwhile, the Milo Flame of Energy initiative intends to drum up support for Malaysian athletes competing in the Myanmar Sea Games next month.
The programme is looking to encourage the public to pledge their support for the athletes and aims to collect 2.7 million units of energy (similar concept to collecting autographs) online.
By Fadhli Ishak - Read more: NSAs can forget about asking for funds - Other - New Straits Times