GEORGE TOWN: An increase in sports allocation and better employment opportunities are right at the top of the wish list of sports organisations and youth bodies for the 2022 budget.
Sports associations interviewed by FMT said the government should allocate more funds to train new athletes and develop sports infrastructure.
Youth organisations said the revitalisation of the economy would benefit youths by way of better employment opportunities and living standards.
Olympic Council Malaysia (OCM) president Mohamad Norza Zakaria said one way for the government to promote the sports sector was to give incentives such as tax exemptions to companies that contributed to sports.
Norza, who is also Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president, said the government could also invest the revenue collected from the recently passed windfall profit levy in sports.
For BAM, Norza requested a special allocation for “Project 2024”, a target set by the association to win the first gold medal in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“We (BAM) are also aiming to produce more players and thus development is another core programme. It would be great if the budget has more allocation for our junior development programme.
“To be more competitive in the world arena, we need sports science support. It would be good if more allocation is given to our sports science unit,’’ said Norza.
Among other items on his wish list are:
- Funding for elite sports until the Paris 2024 Olympics, including exploration of new sports such as breakdancing, sport climbing and surfing;
- Investment in grassroots sports in schools, communities and clubs;
- Incentives for national sports associations that host international events, which would help the local economy and bring international stars to Malaysia who can serve as role models for the youth.
Meanwhile, Penang Archery Association coach Shamani Ganesen suggested that the government allocate more funds to develop archery.
“We need to build archery fields and purchase equipment for training and tournaments, from the beginner to advanced level.
“We also need to fund our athletes who take part in tournaments, as well as to improve the allowances of athletes and coaches,” said Shamani.
Undi18 co-founder and advocacy director Tharma Pillai urged the government to pump in money for the Election Commission to conduct more voter education programmes.
“It is estimated that 5.3 million new voters will vote in the next election. Additional funds need to be allocated for running voter education programmes on a large scale,” he said.
Tharma said the government should consider implementing a short-term reduction in taxes for small companies to help them recover following the pandemic lockdowns.
“The government can also consider introducing alternative taxes, such as consumption tax and inheritance tax,” he added.
He also urged the government to explore ecological fiscal transfer schemes, where the government gives subsidies or rewards to state governments which protect forests.
The Malaysian Youth Council’s wish list includes an upward review of the minimum monthly wage rate to RM1,500, incentivising corporations that hire local youths instead of migrant workers and reviewing the policy of hiring foreign workers in the country.
Among other items on its wish list are:
- Establishing a loan fund for youths involved in SMEs with low-interest rates;
- Establishing a body that offers special courses/training to youths and students related to business network development;
- Providing early assistance to graduates who intend to start SMEs that would create job opportunities;
- Creating more opportunities to bring youths together to nurture new technologies and innovative ideas; and,
- Providing special grants for MYC to improve and develop civic and citizenship education modules.
The government will be tabling the 2022 budget on Oct 29.Internet Explorer Channel Network