Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Privatisation of Jelajah Malaysia on the cards

THE Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) may hand over the organisation of the Jelajah Malaysia to private companies after this year's edition, which faces postponement.

  This year's edition, scheduled for May 13-18, awaits a sports ministry's response on funding but which could lead to  delays that will force the MNCF to postpone the event to September.
  As of yesterday, a meeting between Jelajah Malaysia chief operating officer and MNCF deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad and Sports Ministry chief secretary Datuk Jamil Salleh was yet to be scheduled.

  "The budget from the sports ministry was set last year, so we should have received it early, unless there are other matters," said Naim.

  "So we need to ascertain whether we will receive the funding on time or otherwise. Should we not be able to hold the race as scheduled, then the only available slot on the current UCI Asia Tour calendar would be in September."

  Naim said the ongoing investigations and sports ministry's audit into the MNCF's road programme accounts, which became the centre of controversy following the failure of the programme, should not affect the Jelajah Malaysia.

  "The Jelajah Malaysia is not part of those issues, so by right the race should not be affected," said Naim.

   Often facing pressure to raise funding to ensure the country's oldest stage race continues to be held each year, the MNCF could look into an option for the race organisation to be contracted out to private companies again.

  The last such contract was held by 10-Speed Sdn Berhad, which successfully ran the race under a three-year contract between 2007 and 2009.

  "We could look into this after this year's race is held. Ideally we would like to run the race without problems so that a private company could come on board and run the race without a backlog of issues to be solved," said Naim.

  The Jelajah Malaysia's 60th anniversary last year was also an historic occasion, in which Loh Sea Keong emerged the first ever Malaysian to win an UCI Asia Tour overall title.

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