EIGHT of the country's top cyclists met Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin yesterday and told him of their frustration with the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF).They want changes and significant improvements to the road programme.
That was their tone as they voiced their grievances and views to Khairy in a special meeting.
As a result of the meeting, National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong said he would take into consideration the cyclists' plea for the NSC to be involved in the road programme to ensure better management and preparation.
A key performance indicator (KPI) has been set and the 2015 Sea Games in Singapore is suggested as a target, after which an evaluation of whether government funding for the programme will continue.
"We might insist that they work with the NSC on certain areas," said Zolkples.
Khairy said the meeting with the cyclists came after he had a meeting with MNCF's top brass last week and he would be following up on his findings yesterday.
"They voiced out not just their grievances, but also some suggestions as they want to see improvements. There were also some complaints, which I will have to check with MNCF," said Khairy.
The minister also revealed that the sports ministry's audit of MNCF's multi-million ringgit expenditure on the road programme (since 2010) started on Monday and should be completed soon.
"If the MNCF wants to continue doing it on their own, then the KPI will have to be met," said Khairy.
Anguished by the Malaysian National Cycling Federation's (MNCF) treatment, the cyclists hoped that yesterday's meeting would clear the air over the misconceptions towards them.
"We were especially bemused by the MNCF executive committee's findings that professional riders were to blame for failures of the road programme," said Anuar Manan.
"We also voiced our concerns over the MNCF's selection process, as we think it should be based on merit and indicated through results.
"They have now decided to limit slots for professional riders, but can the riders in their programme produce better results than us? It should not be like that. The riders with the best results should represent the country.
"The sport is our bread and butter, so we wanted the minister to know exactly how we felt. We feel there are certain things not right in the MNCF and we have informed the minister."
Anuar was joined at the meeting by Zamri Saleh, Harrif Saleh, Adiq Husainie Othman, Shahrul Mat Amin, Amir Mustafa Rusli, Saufi Mat Senan and Ahmad Fakhrullah Alias.
Zamri said the riders felt that a collaboration with the NSC would be vital and that they informed the minister of their disappointment with MNCF's attitude in rejecting the NSC's involvement.
"I think we have everything available at the NSC, all the facilities and support. Just look at the track squad and compare them to the road programme. We should not just think of ourselves all the time.