There seems to be a clamour to bid for new Sports Schools. But before we go any further, perhaps Hishamuddin and YB from Bera could care to look at some unfinished business from 2004.
The Sports Advisory Panel had after the Athens Olympic debacle proposed that a re-think be conducted on the manner in which Sports Schools are administrated. Hishamuddin then jumped the gun and took a swipe at the SAP.
Now 4 years on the SAP Chairman for Sports and Education Ministry is one and the same, Dato Wira Mazlan Ahmad. Perhaps he may want to re-visit the argument of 2004 and see what he can correct. Mind you his views were sought on the final report of the Athens Olympics.
"SHORT of sparking a war of words, the Education Ministry have been told
they had got it all wrong on the Sports Advisory Panel's conclusion on why
the country's sports schools were heading in the wrong direction.
And to clear the air, the Panel, headed by FA of Malaysia vice-president
Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad, suggested that Education Minister Datuk
Hishammuddin Hussein should perhaps read the article highlighted by
Timesport on Tuesday "before jumping the gun."
"I don't know where he got the idea from but to say that we blamed the
sports schools for the failure of our athletes to secure medals in the
recently concluded Olympic Games is indeed wrong," said Ibrahim.
"In fact, the post-mortem report on the Games has not even been
"Therefore, how can we point fingers and blame the athletes from the
sports schools for the failure?"
The Panel, Ibrahim said, was formed in July well before the Olympics
started and his conclusion was actually based on meetings and interviews
with sports officials and athletes on various aspects of the sports
development in the country "and not about the failure in the Olympic
"I only highlighted the way how things should and should not be done at
the Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar sports schools," said Ibrahim, in
response to Hishammuddin telling the Panel not to blame the schools for
the non-performance of athletes.
An unhappy Hishammuddin, who said that he does not want the schools to
be punching bags, pointed out that Malaysia would not have won any medals
in the Asian of Sea Games had the schools not produced the athletes.
While at pains to stress he was not out to pick a quarrel with anyone,
Ibrahim suggests that the Education Minister pay a visit the schools and
find out for himself how much priority sports is being given at both the
"We are here to do good for sports for the nation and not finding fault
"Why should anyone take offence to our statement?
"Do you want me to produce a `I scratch-your-back-you-scratch-my back'
kind of good report?"
Ibrahim reiterated that a sports schools should place emphasis on sports
training and not be bound by the rules and regulations pertaining to
examinations and the academic calendar.
"If a student needs to compete in a tournament overseas in a week's time
and also has to sit for his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) very soon
after, he should be allowed to sit for the SPM at a later date or even
next year instead of rushing home and scramble to his studies.
"There must be flexibility as sports should be the priority. That's what
sports schools are all about.
"Apart from that, sports schools should be equipped with professional
coaches and pyschologists as well as dieticians."
Ibrahim said the Panel, who have since met eight times in six weeks,
would submit their report to the Sports Ministry on their findings soon.
"There is no doubt that the sports schools need a review on their
approach and policies,' Ibrahim concluded.