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Sports ministry may become redundant

Posted: 25 Mar 2011 09:40 AM PDT

Saturday, March 26th, 2011 00:36:00

KUALA LUMPUR: A Ministry of Sports may not be needed in the future when the sports industry fully blooms in the country and National Sports Associations (NSA) become self-sufficient.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, however, said such a process would take time and that the ministry was in the process of developing the true potential of the sports industry to generate and boost the economy.

"The process will take time because we need time to create awareness and develop sports as a major industry.

"One way to achieve success is to launch the Sports Industry Year starting July 2011 to July 2012 and include various activities to create awareness, aimed at providing information to the people," he told reporters after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding between National Sports Council (NSC) and the Mines Event Management Sdn Bhd (MEM), to organise the 'Malaysia Sports Trade & Golf Expo (MSTGE) 2011' from Oct 27 to 30 at the Mines Resort City.

Ahmad Shabery said NSAs should work like a corporate body that would enable them to make good and fast decisions to attract major sponsors.

"This will reduce the government's role and give a huge impact to sports in the country," he said, citing clubs in the US and England as examples of successful clubs that have made it big without government support.

He said the sports industry needed aggressive promotion and publicity to succeed.

Meanwhile, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president Sultan Ahmad Shah today met Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at his official residence in Phnom Penh to discuss the development of football in the country.

The FAM president who was accompanied by his deputy Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, FAM general-secretary Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad and Malaysian Ambassador to Cambodia Datuk Mohd Hussein Datuk Pangiran Mohd Tahir later met Prince Norodom Sihamoni at his Palace before meeting officials from the Cambodian FA.

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Plus points for Taufik

Posted: 24 Mar 2011 09:23 PM PDT

Friday, March 25th, 2011 11:57:00

Badminton

REMATCH: Chong Wei (right) will meet Taufik in an exhibition match next month at Bukit Kiara

KUALA LUMPUR: Indonesia ace Taufik Hidayat is set to grace the court in an exhibition match with world No 1 Lee Chong Wei at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara on April 3.

Taufik, who was invited by Chong Wei for the Hope and Smile – 311 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami charity fundraiser, is also here to negotiate a deal with a potential sponsor.

Apparently, the manufacturers of an energy drink are said to be interested in tying up with Taufik.

The drink broke into the Indonesian market last year and if the tie-up is successful, the former world and Olympic champion could be the brand ambassador ahead of its official launch in the Republic later this year.

Chong Wei is expected to play Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng at the Penang International Sports Arena in another charity match on April 2.

Chong Wei's shirts and racquet, which he used during the All-England final, will be auctioned.

The proceeds will be handed to the victims through the Japanese Embassy in Malaysia. The Penangite aims to raise RM1 million.

Meanwhile, Chong Wei feels it is high time for the nation to organise its own league.

"I've played in Indonesia and in China. It's different and it's quite intense in China. The Chinese have good players in their league.

"It's good if Malaysia could organise such a league. Maybe not this year or next year, as we have quite a tight schedule, but perhaps in 2013. It will be good for the sport and the players," he added.

Chong Wei also hopes Misbun Sidek will return to the national stable.

"I can't skip or stop training just because Misbun is not around. It's crunch time for me as I need to be at my best for the World Championship (in August) followed by the London Olympics next year," said Chong Wei.

"But I do hope Misbun will come back to the BA of Malaysia (BAM )."

Misbun quit the national stable in Dec.

The BAM council will meet on April 1 but it is highly unlikely a decision will be made unless Misbun states his desire to return to the fold.

Chong Wei is now training under national singles coaches Tey Seu Bock and Rashid Sidek.

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