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Khairy Jamaluddin

KOTA BHARU – The move by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to call on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to monitor all players, referees and officers involved in the Malaysia League has been described as a timely and proactive step to eradicate corruption.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin described FAM president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim’s move to hand over a list of names for monitoring by MACC as a step in the right direction.

“We see FAM taking proactive measures in that it did not wait for investigations but took the initiative to send the list of people under observation to facilitate MACC’s initial investigations,” he told reporters after presenting prizes to winners of the Kelantan International Half Marathon 2017 at the Rural Transformation Centre (RTC) here today.

Khairy was commenting on press reports on the move by Tunku Ismail to get MACC to monitor players, referees and officers involved in the Malaysia League when the issue of match fixing reared its ugly head to tarnish the image of football in the country.

Tunku Ismail also handed over a list of names and personal details of players, referees and officers to the MACC.

In efforts to ensure corruption did not spread to other sports associations, Khairy said the ministry had sent a clear signal to all sports association that no one would be spared if they were found to be linked to corruption.

“Recently, we held a programme with MACC through the Sports Commissioner’s Office and took a pledge to be corruption-free.” he added.

Meanwhile, Khairy said the Kelantan International Half Marathon (KIHM) which was held for the first time in the state would be made into an annual event in Kelantan.

He said the organising of the sports event was in line with the efforts of the ministry to promote a healthy lifestyle and a love for sports among the people in this state.

KIHM which offered an overall prize of RM80,000, attracted about 8,000 local and foreign runners .

The race was flagged off by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.- BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – Adequate high-income job opportunities and quality of life on par with the developed countries are the popular aspirations among youth during the first phase of the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) Dialogue.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that the aspirations were among the 26,000 (aspirations) collected from 585,000 youth engaged through various channels so far, and that he was confident that the target to involve 1.5 million youth by the end of this year would be achieved.

He said 80 per cent of TN50 aspirations expressed by youth touched on the direction of Malaysia’s economy and employment, education and skills empowerment, values in society, environment, people’s well being and good governance.

“The youth want to see a country with advanced, sustainable, and high-tech economic structure, besides having a drastic increase of income in the next 30 years, flexible workplace and working hours, as flexible working arrangement is necessary for them to generate side income as entrepreneurs.

“Clearly, young Malaysians want Malaysia to build our own technology instead of using the foreign-invented ones, and they are concerned about it (technology) will replace human labour and manpower,” he said this in a press conference on the First 90 Days of TN50 Dialogue in his office here today.

In addition, issues such as environment, well being, developed and integrated transport system, both in rural areas and between the states, green technologies and sustainable development were also raised during the dialogues, he said.

Khairy added that in the educational aspirations, the youth wanted effective education system to prepare everyone to cope with market demands and life pressures as well as changes in technology and the implementation of minimum cost of education from preschool up to higher levels

“Most of the youth want to see governance that is transparent and of high integrity apart from maintaining the Malaysian identity and that all must respect different cultures, religious and languages.

However, Khairy explained the two least discussed topics were of health and retirement but he had pushed and encouraged them to talk about this two important (issues) during TN50 dialogues that had entered the second phase, and would continue until the end of this year.

“We will also establish TN50 Future Groups with each group will comprise 10 youth members and three experts who will examine all issues related to the main topics closely,” he said.

Khairy added that, from today until May 12, youth were invited to participate or to nominate credible individuals to be youth member of TN50 Future Group and applications were also opened to individuals over 40 years old who wanted to contribute as experts for TN50 Future Group via www.mytn50.com/circles/registration. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Young Malaysians prefer citizens of the country to be known as ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ in the next 30 years, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said today.

He said the inputs obtained from more than 20 series of dialogues on the 2050 National Transformation (TN50) that had been held nationwide also revealed that the young Malaysians wanted the “wall’ that separated the races in the country to be demolished.

“They want to see an identity that is more united, which is an identity known as ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ to be more prominent than that of the race or ethnic,” he said at the TN50 Dialogue at the Tunku Abdul Rahman University College here today.

Also present were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who is also chairman of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College’s Board of Governors.

Khairy said the young people also wanted to see tolerance and respect for one another among Malaysians, as well as for the people to appreciate the difference between the various races.

He said today’s dialogue was held to obtain inputs, including views, of the young people from the Chinese community so that the aspiration of Malaysians from all races would be taken into account in TN50.

TN50, mooted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, is a futuristic policy to map the direction of the country in the next 30 years after 2020. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – Malaysians have to address the issue of retirement savings in preparing for growing old in a sustainable way in National Transformation 2050 (TN50), said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said it was worrying when a report highlighted that about 68 per cent of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) members had savings of less than RM50,000.

“Assuming that the members spend RM800 per month, RM50,000 in savings would only last for five years. How will they live for the next 30 to 35 years? How to cover the cost of retirement? We have to start thinking about how we prepare for retirement,” he said.

“We want to make sure that Malaysians retire happily. They have a good quality of life, not only financially but also good healthcare,” he said at the TN50 dialogue in conjunction with EPF Management Conference 2017, here today.

Khairy added that the government spent about RM40 billion a year to cover pension in the government sector.

“The figure will increase as more retirees are expected to live longer. This will contribute to bigger operating expenditure for government… Therefore, we need to address the issue of retirement savings plan,” he said.

In addition, Khairy also urged Malaysians to look after the health situation in ensuring a healthy lifestyle, especially after retirement. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – Construction work and upgrading of venues for the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games (KL 2017) has reached 80 percent.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the National Shooting Range in Subang has been completed while the other venues will be completed soon.

“All preparation for hosting KL 2017 is on track,” he told reporters after chairing the Malaysian SEA Games Organising Committee (MASOC) meeting today.

The National Velodrome in Nilai (cycling), MABA Stadium (basketball) and Putrajaya Water Sports Complex (triathlon, water skiing and surfboarding) will be handed over to MASOC this month.

The National Sailing Centre in Langkawi (sailing), Pudu Ulu Recreation Park in Cheras (petanque), Kinrara Oval (cricket) and Petaling Jaya City Council Stadium (rugby) are expected to be completed next month.

Khairy said the ministry has started registration of athletes for KL 2017 online via the respective National Olympic Councils (NOC).

“We received reports of hotel rooms booked and transportation of athletes and officials in terms of buses, security, traffic, etc.”

Present at the meeting were Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar; MASOC CEO, Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong and OCM secretary-general Datuk Low Beng Choo.

The 29th SEA Games will be held from Aug 19-30 while the 9th ASEAN Para Games will be held from Sept 17-23. – BERNAMA

SEPANG – A proposal to change the date for the closing ceremony of the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games that was initially scheduled on Aug 31, would be discussed at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games Organising Committee tomorrow.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said some adjustments are needed and a decision would be made at the meeting which would be chaired by himself.

“We will make an announcement about the closing ceremony because slight adjustments are needed. We will discuss tomorrow.

“I will also listen to facilities that will be used for the SEA Games,” he said after witnessing an exchange of documents between the Malaysian SEA Games Organising Committee (MASOC) and AirAsia at the AirAsia headquarters here today.

The initial date (Aug 31) was chosen to enable celebrations for Hari Raya Haji which falls on Sept 1.

Meanwhile, MASOC chief executive officer Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong said the organising committee would be ready to accept any decision related to a change in the date for the closing ceremony.

“So far, we have maintained the date for the closing ceremony, but will wait for any new development. A difference of one or two days would not affect our preparations. Three final events to be held on the final date might be brought forward,” he said.- BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – The National Football Development Programme (NFDP) will remain a government policy to achieve footballing excellence, no matter who leads the Ministry of Youth and Sports in the future.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the programme, which celebrates its third anniversary today, had received approval from the Cabinet prior to its implementation.

“This is a national programme launched by Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) and during the launch, he had said this was a national programme. When it is a national policy or programme, anyone who becomes the Youth and Sports Minister has to continue,” he told reporters during a special interview.

NFDP was launched on April 10, 2014 by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, along with the Mokhtar Dahari National Football Academy in Cherating, Pahang, as an effort to restore the glory of football in the country, and to become a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.

The plan, supported by the government as a whole, is not limited to the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and includes the likes of the Ministry of Education and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).

Through this plan, children aged seven to 17 will be equipped with basic knowledge of football and the style of play known as the footballing DNA, led by NFDP director Lim Teong Kim.

Talent will be sought from all corners of the country by a team of scouts working closely with coaches across the country in training centres that will be opened in every district.

Khairy said by 2020, the NFDP will have about 50,000 football trainees between the ages of seven and 17, in over 300 training centres nationwide but on the whole was satisfied with the programme which already has 23,000 trainees in 123 regional training centres or tunas academies.

“Having 123 training centres or academies across the country within three years is a great achievement. However, we have still not finished the job, which is to achieve 50,000 trainees by 2020,” he said.

He said more NFDP training centres or academies would be opened in the future, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, where districts are far apart from each other.

According to Khairy, the idea of setting up the NFDP stemmed from the fact that there was a vacuum in terms of football development programmes since only sports schools in states had a comprehensive programme.

He said the government realised that there was no serious effort from state football associations to take care of the development of football in their respective states.

Khairy who is also Rembau MP said response from parents towards the programme was also encouraging.

“Feedback from parents is very positive. Coaches and parents need not pay a single sen for training and coaches, we just ask them to give support to their children,” he said.

The NFDP also promotes competition, where trainees train three times a week and play weekly matches.

“This is different from before, where we only had exposure to competitions during football carnivals, but now we have matches every week, whether it be a tournament or proper league,” he added. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has requested all parties involved in the ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ on the leadership transition at the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to be honest and respect it.

“It is not a formal or written agreement, but one done verbally between individuals, and I think those involved must respect it.

“If we think we honour the agreement, we should stick to it. If the agreement is not a written one, we cannot compel or enforce it,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after witnessing the signing of a sponsorship agreement between the Malaysia SEA Games Organising Committee (MASOC) and plastic packaging company SCGM Group at the ministry here today.

Bernama had previously reported that BAM president Tan Sri Tengku Mahaleel Tengku Ariff, who took leave from office since October 2015, made a succession deal with the two top leaders of the association.

According to the agreement, acting president Tan Sri Al Amin Abd Majid will give way to Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria after the Rio Olympics in 2016 or at the end of the term of the existing committee.

However, Al Amin, who is also interested in the hot seat, has denied he was involved in the ‘gentlemen’s agreement’.

The BAM election is expected to take place during its Annual General Meeting (AGM) next month.

In the meantime, commenting on the success of women’s high jump athlete Yap Sean Yee who managed to improve her national record, Khairy said it bode well for the national athletics squad in the upcoming Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

“We had one of our worst performances in the Singapore SEA Games in 2015. Many people want to see the revival of Malaysian athlectics…I hope it begins at the SEA Games,” he said.

Yap charted a leap of 1.81 metres in the Kuala Lumpur Sports Schools Council (MSSKL) Athletic Chmapionships at the National Sports Council (NSC) Complex in Setiawangsa yesterday, overcoming her previous record of 1.79m achieved at the Pahang Open Championship in 2015. – BERNAMA

CYBERJAYA – Malaysia will not take any action that can worsen the situation on the Asia Cup 2019 Qualifier match between the national team and North Korea, said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Commenting on calls by various quarters to boycott the Group B match, he reminded that there were several Malaysians still in North Korea following Pyongyang’s decision to bar them from leaving that country.

“Whatever action we take whether in diplomacy or related to trade and sports, let’s not do anything that will further aggravate the already tense ties
between Malaysia and North Korea,” he told the media after the ‘TN50x: Dialogue with Young Entrepreneurs” programme here today.

Not wanting to disclose where he stood on the boycott calls, Khairy said such polemics would not help the situation.

The government has announced that it will not allow the national squad to go to Pyongyang to play in the qualifying match on March 28 on grounds of safety following tensions between the two countries in the aftermath of the murder of North Korean citizen Kim Chol, widely reported to be Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 on Feb 13.

Following that, the FA of Malaysia (FAM) asked the Asian Football Confederation to have the match played at a neutral venue.

Khairy said that he was also awaiting developments on the request.

For the record, Malaysia had boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980 to protest the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics’ (USSR) invasion of Afghanistan.

On another matter, Khairy said he was amazed by the ability of national sprinter Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli, who broke the national record in the women’s 100m sprint with a time of 11.45s at the ASA Speed Series 2 Championship in, Bloemfontein, South Africa early today.

He said the success, which ended G. Shanti’s 24-year old record of 11.50s, was a good sign of better things to come when Kuala Lumpur hosts the SEA Games this September.- BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – The status of the qualifying round of the 2019 Asian Cup competition between Malaysia and North Korea in Pyongyang will be known latest by tomorrow.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said he would hold discussions with the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) today to find out the latest development on the matter before any decision is made.

“The outcome of the talks and status of the competition will be notified by FAM to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) today or tomorrow,” he said.

Khairy was met by reporters after attending the opening of the first meeting of the fifth session of the 13th Parliament here today.

The Harimau Malaysia team is scheduled to face Noth Korea at the King II-sung Stadium in Pyongyang on March 28.

Diplomatic ties between Malaysia and North Korea became tense following the murder of North Korean citizen, Kim Chol on Feb 13.

In the latest development on March 4, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman declared as ‘Persona Non Grata’ the ambassador of North Korea, Kang Chol who was given 48 hours to leave the country. – BERNAMA